The roster for Jay Norvell’s inaugural Colorado State football team is taking shape.
The Rams have completed spring training and are heading into the offseason.
The 2022 season begins Sept. 3 at Michigan, with Norvell’s first official game leading the Rams.
This is a preview of the depth chart as seen in spring training and the spring game on April 23. It will be updated with all off-season roster changes and then updated during training camp leading up to the season.
- Entrance: Clay Millen
- Backup: Gilles Pooler
- Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi/Jackson Stratton
What Led Millen to CSU: Millen explains why he followed Norvell from Nevada, Air Raid offense
Remarks: Millen entered the spring as the expected No. 1 and leaves the spring with that spot safe. Pooler’s game is significant and Norvell called it the biggest surprise of the spring. The 6-foot-5 southpaw has taken over the No. 2 spot from now on and has likely suppressed the staff’s desire to seek a veteran replacement. It should be noted that the QB Hall has no career college starts and will likely enter the fall as the youngest QB group in the nation.
To come back
Remarks: Vivens, a former receiver, could thrive in this offense and Morrow has experience from his time in Nevada. They are clearly the first two. David Bailey could play a backup role if he returns in the fall. Redshirt senior David Aggrey also received a significant number of reps at camp.
After:What we learned about CSU football after the Spring Game and what questions remain for the Rams
- Tory Horton
- Melquan Stovall
- Ty McCullouch
- Dante Wright
Remarks: While the group is likely to be explosive, it is also one of the fastest growing post groups heading into the fall.
Horton, the 6-foot-2 transfer from Nevada is a star in waiting. Stovall, the 5-foot-8 slot machine, has a large playing capacity. Holdovers McCullouch and Wright have adapted well to the system. McCullouch could start. Wright will likely be behind Stovall as first-place finisher, but he will be used in this offense.
Thomas Pannunzio could also be there, especially for certain gadgets. But that offense uses a lot of receivers (six different players had more than 35 catches in Nevada last season) and it needs more depth. Four freshman scholars – Louis Brown, Mekhi Fox, Ky Oday, and Justus Ross-Simmons – will join at the end of this semester. They all have a chance to buy time because CSU wants bigger receivers. The remains of Judge McCoy and/or EJ Scott seem unlikely to play a role in the fall.
Learn more about Arkin: How he clinched the No. 1 spot after Trey McBride left
Remarks: The Fossil Ridge product took the top spot in the spring and is well regarded as a potential playmaker. Gary Williams has great playing ability (he had five touchdowns on just 21 catches last season) but wasn’t able to fully participate in camp. 6-foot-3, redshirt freshman Damir Abdullah moved to tight end and made a few plays at camp.
- LT: Brian Crespo-Jaquez
- LG: Dante Bivens
- C: Jacob Gardner
- RG: Gray Davis
- RT: Dontae Keys
Remarks: A revisited line. Crespo-Jaquez is the only survivor and he never started. Bivens (Tulsa), Keys (FIU), Davis (Nevada) and Gardner (Nevada) bring experience to the line. It’s a large group averaging just over 6-foot-4 and averaging 310 pounds (the smallest is 285) and had a solid camp. Depth and cohesion are question marks.
- FROM: CJ Onyechi
- FROM: Mohamed Kamara
- DT: Devin Phillips
- DT: Grady Kelly
Remarks: Onyechi (transfer from Rutgers) and Kamara are the best rushers who will play a lot. Phillips has long been a mainstay in the middle. Kelly gets the go-ahead next to him here because he was first on the court in the spring game, but there are a lot of guys in that mix. Cam Bariteau, James Mitchell, Grady Kelly, Nuer Gatkouth and Tyler Quinn are among the group that toured with the No. 1 reps on the line. Defensive coordinator Freddie Banks said he’ll go 8-9 deep in the rotation and Onyechi, Kamara and Phillips are the mainstays. Transfer from Wyoming Solomon Byrd has visited the campus several times and is a potential addition.
- Dequan Jackson
- Cam’Ron Carter
Remarks: Banks lives in the 4-2-5 system and there will almost never be more than two linebackers on the field.
Enter the veterans. They may not be the exact prototype of quick backers Banks will recruit, but they are the most likely starters for now. Jackson is not only the leader of this group, but the leader of defense and arguably the whole team. Redshirt freshman Drew Kulick is one of the big winners of the spring as he climbed to the top of the depth chart and he was on the ‘1’ team on Saturday and had an interception while Carter was with the substitutes.
Depth is a concern with Aaron Moore injured in camp and Bam Amina still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season. Chase Wilson and Devon Edwards got plenty of reps. That’s another position CSU could look to strengthen in the offseason.
- angel king
- Jack Howell
- Henry Blackburn
- Francois Tywan
- Chigozie Anusiem
- By André Greeley
Remarks: One of King, Howell and Blackburn won’t start but all will play important roles. Anusiem (Cal transfer) and Greeley (College of San Francisco) will be at corners and Francis at nickeleback. King played the corner to Nevada but was brought to safety. Incoming transfer Greg Laday (Northern Colorado) will fight for one of the best cornerback spots. Robert Floyd missed most of the injured side and the cornering depth is somewhat thin.
- Punter: Paddy Turner
- Kicker: to be determined
- Long snapper: to be determined
- Kick returner: Stovall, Vivens
- Kick return: Stovall
Remarks: CSU finally has a special teams coordinator (Tommy Perry) who should help fix the Rams’ longstanding mistakes. Still, there are question marks. Returning starting kicker Cayden Camper suffered a foot injury (kicking leg) and inexperienced Michael Boyle and Jonathan Terry kicked in the spring (and they kicked well in the game of the spring). Camper is still the most likely fall answer, but it’s worth watching. Turner will wear the same number and replace the great Ryan Stonehouse. He’s no Stonehouse, but the southpaw won’t be a massive dropout.
CSU is looking for its next long-snapper Ross Reiter. Two freshmen (Cody Pettitt and Nate Lowe) are the two long snappers on the list and Pettitt was the starter on Saturday, but there will likely be competition in the fall. Stovall could be used in both return points. Pannunzio and Wright are also in the game.
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