August 20, 2010

On the Matt: Top position battles to watch

Colorado State holds its second full scrimmage on Saturday at Hughes Stadium, and while it's only open to the media and Ram Club members, that doesn't change the fact there are some important position battles to pay attention to.

Below, Senior Analyst Matt L. Stephens breaks down the most important position battles to watch heading into this weekend's scrimmage.

Running back

By now, it's pretty well established that Raymond Carter is Colorado State's every-down back and appears to have all the makings of a potential NFL player in two seasons. And while Chris Nwoke is listed as the No. 2 on the depth chart, don't be surprised if John Mosure starts to peek his head up above No. 3 every once in a while.

Mosure proved last year that he's a great player to have running the Wildcat formation, but since Leonard Mason was never taught it, Mosure was obviously the best option.

Mosure can throw a solid short-range pass, power up the gut, and has soft hands out of the backfield. Don't forget about him.

Wide receiver

Everyone knows that Byron Steele, [db]TJ Borcky, Tyson Liggett, Marquise Law and Lou Greenwood are the main group of receivers the Rams will be working with, but outside of who will start at the slot, no one has clearly established themselves as a go-to guy.

Every day at practice it seems to be a different player turning the most heads, making the one-handed grabs and coming down with the 50-50 ball in coverage. CSU needs consistency at receiver, who will bring it?

Cornerback

Atop the depth chart, Momo Thomas and DeAngelo Wilkinson seem to be great picks to start at the left and right corner positions, but this is a unit that is very thin.

Last year, CSU used its third string corner, Wilkinson, at nickelback. Will that be the same this season? Marcus Shaw has been impressive during fall camp, but freshman Shaq Bell has definitely impressed, too.

Who earns the nickelback spot? And if an injury occurs, will the Rams be out of luck in the secondary?

Defensive line

All spring, summer and fall the defensive line has been changing, adding new faces to gain more athleticism.

Davis Burl and Crockett Gillmore have both been moved to defensive end. Former tight end Adam Seymore is now a defensive tackle. How are these guys going to pan out with a defensive line that has really suffered some injuries this offseason?

Will CJ James be ready to play by the Rocky Mountain Showdown on Sept. 4? If not, who moves into the No. 1 defensive end spot?
Center

Someone other than Tyler McDermott has to learn how to snap shotgun, otherwise it could be a long season. Most folks agree that McDermott isn't the best center the Rams have to offer, but he's the only one who can consistently snap shotgun, which is why he has seen so much time running with the first team during fall camp.

Tight end

Senior Adam Peitz is obviously the best CSU has to offer, being placed on the Mackey Award Watch List for the best tight end in college football. Since 2008, Peitz has really slimmed down and developed himself into a better receiving tight end.

But much like cornerback, the Rams are thin at tight end, even more so since Gillmore was moved to defense.

Pay attention to freshman Kivon Cartwright and redshirt freshman Matt Weems. Cameron Moss has also put on some size and has looked good this fall. Also, fullback Zac Pauga should play more of an H-back role this season, mixing snaps between the line and backfield.


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