FORT COLLINS – Lord, you should have seen the laughs. The world rests on the CSU Rams and they know it.
“I was laughing,” new football coach Jay Norvell said Friday outside Canvas Stadium on Day 1 of preseason camp “until I went to work today.”
Laugh? Norvell’s predecessor, Steve Addazio, seemed physically unable to laugh. Or smile. Or hug. Daz had all the empathy of a Burmese python before swallowing a cow whole.
Friday, though… Friday was different. CSU legend Sonny Lubick came to give pointers and blessings. The “Air Assault” rams threw the stone freely and easily all over the yard. Of CSU’s 42 juniors, seniors and graduate students, 15 — 36% — were not on the list at this time a year ago.
“We’ve added some new kids that are fun to work with,” Norvell said. “It’s like Christmas when you get new toys. I said to one of our players, ‘You’ve got new toys here, let’s make sure you use them.’
One of the brightest is Tory Horton, a 6-foot-2 speedster from Fresno who already owns Canvas Stadium before taking a snap in the regular season in green and gold.
In Horton’s final regular season game, the cat threw 113 receiving yards and two scores Last November, Norvell’s Nevada Wolf Pack tore open a flesh wound over the Rams Addazio would end his tenure with a 52-10 loss.
Some context: Those two scores on Canvas are the most among Rams wideouts in that building in 2021 — again, we’re talking two TDs. That would shut him up the most. in any A year ago, CSU tailback David Bailey also recorded two TD receptions, but over two different home games.
And 113 yards through the air? That would be 10 more yards than any Rams wide receiver on Canvas last year, the speedy Dante Wright (103 vs. South Dakota State).
In retrospect, that says a little more about the Rams’ passing game in 2021, somehow leaving the nation’s top tight end, Trey McBride, without a TD catch to his name. A little more about what Horton brings to the table, now running routes for the host.
“It crossed my mind,” Horton laughed Friday after he heard on Canvas how his stat line looked against CSU’s entire season. “Just knowing where I was last year and how I compared to the best that came in and out of this building.
“When we got into (the game), I said, ‘This is a beautiful facility, you know? It is a beautiful object. I really liked the stadium, the light show, everything was great.”
Horton followed that up with Reno’s Norvell hauling in a touchdown during practice more than three defenders Quarterback Clay Millen off a back-foot hard. During the spring game, he took another rainbow from the young signal-caller, which went over the right boundary for a 55-yard score.
“When I first walked into the room (here) and (the receivers) saw what the scheme was going to be like (it was) pretty exciting,” he said. summer months. “And you can tell — even in practice, when (we’re) out there running routes and doing (skeleton) and stuff like that, you see more smiles on their faces.”
“You know, offense is all about playmakers and development players, and Tory is definitely one of those,” Norvell said. “And he’s one of those fast toys that we love to play with. Some (gifts) are better than the socks and underwear you bought from your grandmother. You know, fast toys, toy cars, Game Boy – they’re a little better than dress shirts and socks.
With that, the Ram coach laughed again. He knows. If Horton picks up where he left off last fall, Christmas is coming early to FoCo.