Rice’s loss has turned into a fellow Group of Five football program’s gain.
Saturday, Colorado State announced that V.J. Banks has transferred to the university and will play for Mike Bobo‘s Rams. As the cornerback will be coming to Fort Collins as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2018. The upcoming season will serve as Banks’ final year of eligibility.
Banks had announced on Twitter in late January that he had decided to transfer from the Owls.
Banks started 22 of the 36 games in which he played for the Owls, including 11 starts in 2016 and nine in 2015. The defensive back started the first two games of the 2017 season before an unspecified leg injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year.
For the Rice portion of his collegiate playing career, Banks totaled 75 tackles (one for loss), seven passes defensed, two interceptions and a forced fumble. He also returned seven punts for 30 yards (4.3 yards per return).
Colorado State’s athletic department coffers will be a little more full thanks to one development this week.
CSU announced Thursday a 15-year agreement with Public Service Credit Union for the naming rights to the university’s year-old football stadium. The long-term agreement will result in the school being paid $37.7 million over the life of the deal. Per the school, “annual escalator clauses for inflation, as well as a signing bonus,” are also included in the agreement.
The on-campus stadium opened in July of last year at a cost of $225 million, with the first game played in August of 2017.
“This is a partnership that makes so much sense for our university community and for Public Service Credit Union, and we’re thrilled to announce this new agreement,” said CSU president Tony Frank in a statement. “Our stadium will carry the name of a Colorado-based business that shares our commitment to creating opportunity and opening doors for people at all income levels. Our mission and our values as a university align so well with those of PCSU, and the investment by the credit union and its members in our campus and programs will bring great visibility to how much they accomplish as a visionary community partner.”
According to the school’s release, the new naming rights deal, when combined with the field naming rights deal previously announced, actually compares reasonably well with some of the agreements reached by Power Five programs.
The agreement, which when added to the $20 million given in 2016 to name Sonny Lubick Field, brings the total naming rights revenues at Colorado State to $57 million for the stadium. This is comparable to the recently announced $69 million United Airlines Memorial Coliseum at University of Southern California and the $41 million Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington.
Interestingly, Lubick, the legendary former Rams head football coach, currently serves as the vice president of community outreach for the credit union.
Colorado State is busy adding depth to the roster by utilizing graduate transfers from power conference programs. The newest addition is offensive lineman T.J. Roundtree, a graduate transfer from Louisville. The Rams announced the addition of Roundtree to the program on Friday.
As a graduate transfer, Roundtree will be eligible to play for the Mountain West Conference contenders this fall. Having Roundtree on the roster should help plug some holes on the offensive line after losing three starters from last year’s team. Roundtree could also potentially be protecting another graduate transfer addition to the program, quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels. Carta-Samuels was formally added to the program earlier in the week after transferring to Fort Collins from Washington.
Roundtree played in five games for Louisville last season and all 13 games in the 2016 season. At 6′-5″ and 315 lb, he should add some weight to a Colorado State offensive line that is already pretty stacked in size, making for a formidable offensive line unit in the MWC.
The Rocky Mountain Showdown between Colorado and Colorado State is set to expire after the 2020 meeting between the in-state rivals. With Colorado moving on filling its non-conference schedule without the Rams, Colorado State found another Pac-12 school to help fill some vacancies on the future schedule.
As first reported by FBSchedules.com, Colorado State and Washington State have lined up a future home-and-home series that will be played in 2022 and 2023. Washington State will host Colorado State on Sept. 17, 2022. Colorado State will play host to the Cougars the following season on Sept. 2, 2023.
The only other meeting between the Cougars and Rams took place in the 2013 New Mexico Bowl, with the Rams rallying to stun Washington State in a wild finish.
Colorado State will play one opponent from a power conference on n annual basis through at least 2023 with the Washington State series and will likely have at least one power conference opponent scheduled through at least 2028 with just 2024 to fill in as of now. The Rams will play three power conference opponents this fall with a neutral site game against Colorado, a home game against Arkansas, and a road game at Florida to start the season. Colorado State has future home-and-home deals with power conference opponents from the Pac-12 (Arizona, Oregon State, Washington State), Big 12 (Texas Tech), and the SEC (Arkansas, Vanderbilt).
As a member of the Pac-12, Washington State does not have a scheduling requirement to play at least one power conference opponent as schools in the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC are required. Washington State’s next non-conference game against a power conference opponent is scheduled in 2022 at Wisconsin, the week before hosting Colorado State.
Colorado State has landed the commitment of graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels, Rams head coach Mike Bobo announced Sunday.
Carta-Samuels comes from Washington, and is the younger brother of former Wyoming and Vanderbilt quarterback and current Missouri quality control coach Austyn Carta-Samuels. A native of Saratoga, Calif., Carta-Samuels threw 47 passes in 25 career appearances as a Husky. Working primarily as Jake Browning‘s backup, Carta-Samuels hit 27-of-47 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
Carta-Samuels figures to compete for the Colorado State quarterback job this fall. Senior Nick Stevens threw all 459 passes for the Rams last season. Sophomore Collin Hill figures to be Carta-Samuels’s chief competition; he was 75-of-129 for 1,096 yards (8.5 per attempt) with eight touchdowns against two interceptions as a true freshman in 2016 before taking a redshirt season in 2017.