February 5, 2009 1:18 PM
CSU hopes to develop recruits into winners
FORT COLLINS - Coach Steve Fairchild drew a big laugh when he was talking about CSU's 2009 class of football recruits.
He was asked how would you rate the 2009 class of recruits?
"The best in the country," he joked before adding, "I really don't have any idea. We feel we got a great group of kids. I'm very happy with it. It's now our obligation to develop these kids."
Fairchild was being honest.
There is way too much emphasis placed on college recruiting by the media these days and it add sunnecessary pressure to 17 and 18-year-old youngsters. And, it usually takes at least a year or two before a recruiting class can be evaluated.
Still, recruiting is the lifeblood of college football programs and the new CSU recruits look to be good enough to help Fairchild's vow to rebuild the Rams into an elite Mountain West Conference program like it was in the 1990s.
CSU signed 20 high school prospects and two junior college transfers. Most of the class will redshirdt but several players will have a chance to contribute early.
Both transfers, quarterback Jon Snow from Snow College and running back Leonard Mason from the College of the Desert, will compete for starting positions this spring.
The battle for next season's starting quarterback position is open since Billy Farris will graduate. Snow, Grant Stucker and Alex Kelly will compete in the spring. T.J. Borcky, who played wide receiver last season, may see some time at quarterback.
Klay Kubiak, who shared backup duties with Stucker last season, is out after undergoing shoulder surgery.
CSU lost it's top two running backs from last season and Fairchild indicated the Rams might have to use a running back by committee philsophy so Mason has a good opportunity to impress this spring.
Fairchild also said that ThunderRidge running back Chris Nwoke might figure in the Rams plans next season.
Punter Pete Kontakiakos from Tarpon Springs, Fla, the first team punter on USA Today's All-America team, is expected to come in and replace last season's punter Anthony Hartz who has left the program.
Another incoming freshman that has a chance to make an immediate impact is defensive end C.J. James from Orlando's Colonial High School.