A Look At The Colorado State Receiving Corps Position
The Colorado State Rams receiving corps is one of the most talented in the Mountain West.
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Colorado State Rams Receivers Preview
The receiving corps is an integral part of the Colorado State Rams offense and the depth they have shows that Rams fans are in for another great year offensively. Michael Gallup was the main target last year, but the plethora of options the Rams have at the receiver position make sure you can’t focus on him. The Rams receiving corps is something Rams fans should be excited about now and for the future.
Michael Gallup (Sr., WR), Olabisi Johnson (Jr., WR), Dalton Fackrell (Sr., TE)
Michael Gallup, Olabisi Johnson, Dalton Fackrell are the leading returners for the Rams. Gallup finished the season with 76 catches, 1272 yards, and 14 touchdowns. Johnson finished with 28 catches for 613 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Fackrell finished with 7 catches for 66 yards.
Gallup took about half the season to get adjusted to the FBS game, but once he did, he became a force in the Rams’ offense, culminating in a 7 catch, 139 yard, 3 touchdown performance against San Diego State. Johnson had mainly a quiet season until he broke out in the Rams bowl game. Johnson finished that game with 7 catches, 265 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
Fackrell was not a main factor in the Rams receiving game, but he is expected to be a part time factor this year with the graduation of those in front of him and due to spending a year in the system.
Detrich Clark (Sr., WR), Anthony Hawkins (Soph., WR), Isiah Pannunzio (RS Fr., TE)
These three Rams were little contributors last year. Clark and Hawkins were mainly used on sweeps and Pannunzio redshirted last year. Clark finished last season with 9 catches, 90 yards, and a touchdown. Hawkins had 2 catches for 27 yards and a touchdown.
With the graduation of those in front of them, these three Rams are expected to take on bigger roles this year. Clark and Hawkins are expected to provide depth at the receiver position. Although it is still unclear whether Hawkins will switch to cornerback after a successful stint at the position during spring camp due to depth issues. Pannunzio being the next senior tight end should be second on the depth chart.
Cameron Butler (Fr., TE), Griffin Hammer (Fr., TE), EJ Scott (Fr., WR), Warren Jackson (Fr., WR), Tyler Smith (Fr., WR), John Freismuth (RS Jr., WR), Preston Williams (Jr., WR) *
These recruits are expected to provide depth and contribute either now or in the future. Butler and Hammer could compete for immediate playing time as the tight end position is a thin one for the Rams. If either of these two can impress the coaches in fall camp, they could see early playing time.
EJ Scott and Tyler Smith were teammates at McEachern High School in Georgia. Scott and Smith can both serve similar roles to Michael Gallup. Smith was a late commit as he originally committed to North Carolina, but they wanted him to greyshirt. If Smith is truly recovered from his knee injuries, expected these two to compete, with each other, and push for playing time.
Warren Jackson was a receiver the Rams targeted early and stayed in contact with even when he committed to Arizona. Once the Rams got him up to Fort Collins they were able to flip his commitment. Jackson is a big receiver at 6’5” and the Rams are expected to use his height to their advantage.
Another big bodied receiver that could potentially break through this year is John Freismuth. Freismuth is a local kid from Loveland, Colorado and has impressed in spring camps but hasn’t had the opportunity to show it in game situations. He should compete for playing time this year.
Lastly is Preston Williams. Williams is a transfer from Tennessee and a former 5-star recruit. Williams has already shown what he can do in the spring game, but the Rams must wait until 2018 to unleash him. In the meantime, Williams will make the receivers and defensive backs who cover him better. The receiver can learn from him and the defensive backs can learn how to cover better receivers.