Colorado State Rams

Former four-star TE transfers from Vanderbilt to Colorado State

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The Colorado State Rams don’t have a head coach yet, but they’ve already landed a big commitment.

Tight end Mitchell Parsons was one of the crown jewels in the Vanderbilt Commodores’ 2013 recruiting class. The former four-star recruit was considered the nation’s seventh-best tight end prospect, according to Rivals.com.

After a redshirt season and no playing time this year, the native of Parker, Colorado, decided he wanted to play closer to home.

Parsons’ transfer shouldn’t come as a surprise. He originally committed to head coach James Franklin, who left to take the job at Penn State less than a year later. Vanderbilt’s offense will again transition this offseason after new head coach Derek Mason fired offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell.

The tight end might not know who he’ll be playing for at Colorado State, but at least his family will only be an hour or so down the road.

Parsons will have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules. Once he is eligible to play, he’ll have an opportunity to replace Steven Walker, who will be a senior in 2015, as the team’s starting tight end.

(Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt athletic department)

Board of Governors approve new on-campus stadium for Colorado State Rams

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The Colorado State head coaching vacancy just got a little more enticing.

After years of wrangling with officials over the possibility of building an on-campus stadium, the Colorado State Board of Governors finally approved the move.

The decision comes six days after Colorado State University’s president Tony Frank recommended the school build a new stadium instead of refurbishing Hughes Stadium, according to the Associated Press.

Frank reportedly estimated the new stadium would cost between $195 to $220 million.

Hughes Stadium has served as Colorado State’s football facility since 1968. It’s located four miles west of the school’s main campus. But the school estimates it requires millions of dollars in renovations.

After a 10-2 season, Colorado State saw renewed interest in the program. Head coach Jim McElwain subsequently left the team to accept the same position with the Florida Gators, but he built a program that is now far more enticing than the one he initially took over in 2012.

McElwain’s departure may have also had an effect on the Board’s decision. The school plans on raising the money through donations to help build the new stadium. It already built a nice nest egg by agreeing with Florida to the largest contract buyout in college football history. Florida also agreed to a $2 million guarantee game.

An improving program and a new stadium could help lure another top-level candidate like the school previously did when McElwain was initially hired.

Air Force Falcons clip Colorado State Rams with last-second field goal

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The Air Force Falcons have played the role of spoiler all season.

The latest example came Friday against the Colorado State Rams. A Will Conant field goal as time expired proved to be the difference as the Falcons claimed a 27-24 victory.

With the win, Air Force improved its record to 9-3 this season. Colorado State, meanwhile, dropped to 10-2, and the program’s aspirations of possibly being the highest-ranked Group of Five program quickly vanished.

For Colorado State, the Boise State Broncos still needed to lose Saturday against the Utah State Aggies to become the top team from a non-Power Five conference. Now, it doesn’t matter.

Air Force also upset Boise State earlier in the season which made the Broncos’ trek through the season far more difficult before finally being ranked in the College Football Playoff committee’s Top 25 for the first time this past week.

The Falcons haven’t made life easy for any of their opponents.

The academy also claimed its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 2011 despite the Navy Midshipmen being considered the favorites to win the award.

But Air Force would never have been in the position it currently resides without a poor decision from Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain.

With 44 seconds remaining, the Rams faced a 4th-and-2 from the Falcons’ 42-yard line. McElwain decided to go for it instead of trying to pin Air Force deep into their own end. Running back Dee Hart, who ran for 115 yards, was stopped short of the first down, and Air Force took over with 38 seconds left.

A 26-yard pass from Air Force quarterback Nate Romine to junior wide receiver Garrett Brown was the big play the Falcons needed to move into field goal position. Conant proved to be up to the task when it came time to attempt the field goal.

Despite the loss, McElwain provided the quote of the day regarding Conant’s field goal:

At 9-4, Air Force is the fourth team in the Mountain West Conference to win at least nine games.

Colorado State honors cancer patient with roster spot

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Everyone remembers Jack Hoffman and the special moment his favorite football team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, gave him during the team’s 2013 spring game.

There have been other instances in the past year where other football programs have honored other children. These moments may not be able to cure these children from the horrible afflictions they have to endure, but the football teams can give each of them a special moment they’ll never forget as they continue to fight.

Colorado State didn’t give nine-year old Jack Miller a moment. Instead, the Rams named him an honorary member of the team. Miller is even listed on the Rams’ official roster as a running back wearing No. 1.

“Jack is a big part of our family, and we all are honored that he chose us to be his teammates,” Rams head coach Jim McElwain said on the team website. “Part of this whole deal in life is understanding what it takes and what it is to give of yourself to somebody else. I can’t tell you how enjoyable it is, after a game, to see Jack in the locker room wearing his Rams jersey, and that smile on his face. He has taught all of us so much about toughness, determination and embracing life.”

Miller suffers from brain tumors. A malady he has battled the past six years. His connection to the Rams was made through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.

“It’s unbelievable how strong that kid is and how much of an inspiration he is to me and my teammates,” Former Colorado State center Weston Richburg said.

Let’s all hope Miller is an honorary member of the Rams for a long time to come.

(Photo courtesy of Colorado State’s athletic department)