FORT COLLINS, COLO. — We were clearly in Colorado, but there was a whole lot of Georgia in this one small room.
Mike Bobo was kind enough to let me join me him in the offensive coaches’ meeting after visiting my first-ever Colorado State Rams’ practice Sunday afternoon here. Among those sitting around the conference table evaluating the day’s video were offensive coordinator and line coach Will Friend, quarterbacks coach Ronnie Letson and quarterbacks graduate assistant Joe Cox.
If you’ve kept up with the Georgia Bulldogs at all the last few years, you’ll recognize all those names.
Likewise, there was a distinctly Georgia flavor to the Rams’ two-hour practice that I witnessed earlier in the day. Bobo let both visiting and local media observe the entire workout. Based on the rare occasions I was afforded the same luxury at UGA, everything looked awfully familiar.
“It’s very similar as far as the way we’re two-spotting drills and the organization,” Bobo acknowledged. “It’s basically the same practice plan. We’re trying to go more tempo, trying to go a little faster.”
Bobo has assumed the post of head coach out here but, as evidenced by his actions at this practice and commentary throughout, he’s doing a lot of the same stuff he was at Georgia on a day-to-day basis. The plan is for him to call the plays out here, too, so he’s intimately involved in every aspect of scripting the practice and the installation process.
Being the head coach has done nothing to make Bobo more reserved. He’s as vocal and animated as ever. At one point he flung his cap 20 feet in the air, disgusted over a misread. Another mistake by the same quarterback a short time later, and Bobo shouted, “I was 40 when I got here. Every time you run a play I get two years older!”
Bobo also unleashed more than a few four-letter specials.
“I need to do a little better with my language,” he said with a laugh.
Interestingly, Bobo has a quarterback competition here at Colorado State not unlike the one he left behind at Georgia. Only, this one seems largely settled just three practices in.
Many parts of Sunday’s workout were divided between No. 1 and No. 2 offenses. Every time Bobo called for the “ones,” sophomore Nick Stevens went in. Freshman Coleman Key went in when the “twos” were summoned.
“It’s been Nick Stevens the first three practices working mainly with the ones,” Bobo said Garrett Grayson’s backup last year. “We alternated a little bit in (pass-skelton drills). We’ll get them both some snaps with the ones in the scrimmage. But Nick’s ahead right now. … I’m not ready to anoint No. 7 as the guy, but we’ll see as we get along. After the first scrimmage I’ll have a clearer picture.”
So I’m spending a couple of days out here catching up with Bobo and trying to assess out how he’s doing with his transition from Georgia, where he spent 19 of his 20 years in coaching, and to being a head coach. I’ll talk to the rest of the UGA contingent as well. Tomorrow is the Rams’ media day.
“Be sure to tell them about the new stadium,” Friend interjected to me in the middle of Sunday’s meeting. “Make sure those 2017 recruits back in Georgia know about.”
Construction began this summer on a new $220 million dollar, 41-000 seat on-campus stadium that will be ready for the 2017 season. The current one, Sonny Lubbick Field at Hughes Stadium, is off campus.
So there you go, Coach.
Check back for more reports from here Monday, and I’ll file complete story on Bobo and his journey before I head back to Athens midweek.