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Sports / Recreation

McElwain, Rams open spring drills

March 20, 2012

The Bold New Era of CSU football kicks off this week when the Rams have the first of 15 spring practices leading up to the 2012 season.

CSU coach Jim McElwain hits the field Wednesday with his new team.New CSU football coach Jim McElwain will get his first up-close look at the 2012 Rams on Wednesday afternoon when spring drills open on the practice fields south of Moby Arena.

McElwain, hired in December to replace Steve Fairchild, has seen his players in offseason workouts and in various meetings, but has yet to see them on the practice field. As a result, he said, no player will go into the 15 spring practices as a designated “starter.”

“Our goal for the spring is to become a football team,” said McElwain, the former offensive coordinator for national champion Alabama. “We need to learn how to practice, learn how to compete and learn what it takes to become a champion.”

Cupboard is not bare

The Rams are coming off their third consecutive 3-9 season, but several talented players return, including all-Mountain West Conference first-team defensive end Nordly Capi and second-team selections Chris Nwoke (running back), Crockett Gillmore (tight end), Weston Richburg (center) and Pete Kontodiakos (punter).

Three of the 15 practices will be open to the public, including the annual spring game, set for April 21 at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. Another highlight is the program’s first spring practice in the Denver area, set for Friday, April 13, at Infinity Park in Glendale.

CSU’s spring practice schedule

March

Wed., March 21: Practice #1, on-campus practice facility
Fri., March 23: Practice #2, on-campus practice facility
Mon., March 26: Practice #3, on-campus practice facility
Wed., March 28: Practice #4, on-campus practice facility
Fri., March 30: Practice #5, on-campus practice facility

April

Mon., April 2: Practice #6, on-campus practice facility
Wed., April 4: Practice #7, on-campus practice facility
Fri., April 6: Practice #8, (SCRIMMAGE) Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium
Mon., April 9: Practice #9, on-campus practice facility
Wed., April 11: Practice #10, on-campus practice facility
Fri., April 13: Practice #11, Infinity Park, Glendale (Denver Metro Area)
Sun., April 15: Practice #12 (SCRIMMAGE), Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium
Tue., April 17: Practice #13, on-campus practice facility
Thu., April 18: Practice #14, on-campus practice facility
Sat., April 21: Spring game, Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium