PUEBLO, Colo. (Aug. 13, 2015) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo football team started its title defense Thursday at 12:01 a.m. with the annual Midnight Madness fitness test and tug-of-war. The ThunderWolves didn't waste of minute, as Thursday marked the official opener for camp.
The ThunderWolves (14-1 in 2014) return 16 starters, which includes six on a defensive unit that finished first in NCAA Division II in scoring defense (12.8 ppg) and passes intercepted (29) and tied for first in defensive touchdowns (7) and turnovers gained (43). CSU-Pueblo also finished first nationally in total sacks with 57. Senior defensive end Morgan Fox (Fountain, Colo.) recorded 12.5 of those quarterback takedowns and was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. CSU-Pueblo's leading tackler is back for 2015, as senior inside linebacker Joe Rosenbrock (Brush, Colo.) will help lead the defense after he totaled 107 tackles (61 solo) as a junior.
The Pack offense returns four All-Americans, including senior running back Cameron McDondle (Littleton, Colo.), who set a ThunderWolves single-season record with 2,014 rushing yards to finish third nationally. The power back's 134.3 yards per game ranked ninth in Division II, while his 16 touchdowns on the ground was 15th nationally. Four starters on the offensive line, a unit that ranked 26th nationally in least sacks allowed, return in 2015. Four of the five top receivers are also back, guided by the Preseason All-RMAC selection, Kieren Duncan (Goodyear, Ariz.), who led the team in receptions (45) and reception yards (712) last season.
On special teams, senior place kicker Greg O'Donnell (Monument, Colo.) returns after he hit 21 field goals to tie for the second most in Division II last season.
The coaching staff had some turnover in the offseason, but mostly on the offensive side. The 2014 NCAA Division II Coach of the Year John Wristen brought in Jeff Hecklinski to serve as the passing game coordinator and quarterback coach and Gordon Shaw to coach the offensive line and serve as the run game coordinator. A FootballScoop.com Division II Coordinator of the Year Finalist in 2014, Hunter Hughes returns for his eighth season as defensive coordinator.
All the practices on the fall camp schedule are open to the public and the media. The Pack will conduct 12 practices before school begins Aug. 24.
Practice #1 – Aug. 13 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Practice #2 – Aug. 14 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Practice #3 – Aug. 15 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Practice #4 – Aug. 16 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Practice #5 – Aug. 17 – 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Full Pads
Practice #6 – Aug. 18 – 7:30-9:45 a.m.
Practice #7 – Aug. 18 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Practice #8 – Aug. 19 – 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Full Pads
Practice #9 – Aug. 20 – 7:30-9:45 a.m.
Practice #10 – Aug. 20 – 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Practice #11 – Aug. 21 – 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Full Pads
Practice #12 – Aug. 22 – 9:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Scrimmage (ThunderPup Clinic from 8:30-9:30 a.m.)
Aug. 23 – OFF
Aug. 24 – School Begins – Start school year practice time of 3:35 p.m.
Aug. 28 – Scrimmage 6 p.m.
Sept. 5 – Home and season opener versus Central Washington – 5 p.m.
The ThunderWolves begin their title defense Sept. 5 by hosting Central Washington University at Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. The contest is set for 5 p.m. (originally scheduled for 6 p.m.) and will be produced by the American Sports Network and air live on Altitude 2 locally.
Season tickets are still available for purchase by calling (719) 549-2050. Single game tickets will be available Aug. 24.
- 30 -
As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.