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Colorado State football springs toward new season

Collegian | Milo Gladstein
Colorado State University wide receiver Tory Horton (14) dashes toward the sideline during the Rocky Mountain Showdown game against the University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field in Boulder Sept. 16, 2023. CSU lost 43-35.

Spring has sprung, and so has the Colorado State football team after their postseason winter slumber.

As spring training ramps up, the many changes made by the team are on full display, and those differences play a crucial role.


“We’re definitely different,” coach Jay Norvell said. “Our coaching staff is different; our players are different. (We’ve) got a little different approach to what we’re doing, and I think we’re going to see a big difference on the field.”

There are many familiar faces, like wide receiver Tory Horton, who is returning for another season, and redshirt sophomore Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi, who is now the starting quarterback.

“We fell short last year — everybody in the building is aware of that.” –Chase Wilson, linebacker  

The team also boasts linebacker Chase Wilson, the leading tackler on the team last year.

“I think we can be the best unit in the conference,” Wilson said. “Kind of take that attention to detail coming out here every day with the mindset to work and get better.”

The defense’s attention to detail will be headed by a new defensive line coach, Chuka Ndulue, a former Los Angeles Charger, who Norvell announced in January.

However, changes in coaching, players and tactics did not stifle the importance of the offseason for the Rams as they suited up for spring training. 

“Spring is incredibly important,” Fowler-Nicolosi said. “It’s huge. This is the offseason where I’m looking to make that real jump from being that young, immature kid to a leader on the team and a leader on the field.”

A leadership role is vitally needed as CSU takes on Texas, who finished third in the AP Top 25 last season, in their first game of the 2024 season. 

The Big 12 competitor boasts returning quarterback Quinn Ewers, but as Norvell said, “We’re different.”


“(Fowler-Nicolosi is) not the same kid,” Norvell said. “Everybody talks about the game slowing down, but it’s slowed down for him. He really sees his progressions. He understands when he can’t go to somebody. … He’s the best freshman we’ve ever had with his performance last year.”

Another highlight was Horton back on the practice field. 

The previous team captain put off the NFL draft to return to CSU and lead yet another year.

“We’re happy Tory’s back,” Norvell said. “He’s different, just like everybody. We’ve challenged everybody to find ways to improve themselves from a year ago, from coaches to players, and Tory is a great example of that.”

Besides the changes, there are clear goals in the minds of those out on the field and the sidelines.

Those goals are headed by Norvell in his third year as head coach, making waves in his past two seasons.

“Coach Norvell has done a great job this offseason of making it very clear of what our goals are and how we’re going to get there,” Fowler-Nicolosi said. “Something new we implemented in practices is when receivers catch the ball, you have to finish the route. … A mentality that we need to translate into everything we do is finish. No matter how anything’s going, finish.”

Finishing strong is vital for the Rams this season. From continuing spring training to starting the fall season, the team has a hunger for a strong ending.

Losses of last season, like the ones against Wyoming and Hawaii, left Wilson specifically with hope for redemption.

“We fell short last year — everybody in the building is aware of that,” Wilson said. “We’re not happy with that. We definitely have a chip on our shoulder coming in, and we have high expectations for ourselves, and we know that we can meet them or even exceed them.”

Reach Liv Sewell at or on Twitter @Liv_sewell22.

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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About the Contributor
Milo Gladstein, Photo Director
Milo Gladstein is a fifth-year senior majoring in journalism and media communications. He is currently serving as one of the two photo directors for the 2o23-24 school year. Gladstein's work focuses on long-form stories diving deep into what it means to be human and sharing people's passion and story with the community. He did not begin as a journalism major and has worn many hats while at CSU. He began as a conservation biology major, moving to undeclared and then horticulture therapy before finally landing in the journalism department. He seeks stories about community members who are impacting the world around them in positive ways and shares those stories. Working at The Collegian has taught Gladstein about working on a team, how to develop a story and the best ways to present said stories. Most importantly, he has grown from a photographer into a photojournalist. As co-photo director, he hopes to pass that knowledge on to the next group of journalists rising through The Collegian. When not working at The Collegian or in class, Gladstein can be found reading a book or in the outdoors climbing, camping, exploring and getting lost in the mountains.

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    Lawrence LykeApr 3, 2024 at 7:00 am

    Like Ole times for me.College in thr fort were great and times iformative.