Chris Nwoke is better than OK.
When the 2011 season began for CSU, Nwoke (WOH-kay) was the No. 2 running back for the Rams.
But after three straight games of 74 or more yards, the sophomore has moved into the starting spot for Colorado State. In the last two contests, Chris ran remarkably well; for 93 yards and a touchdown against UTEP, 156 yards and a score two weeks ago versus UNLV.
Nwoke is a bruising back, with the power to take the ball between the tackles, with enough speed to run away from defenders at times.
Head coach Steve Fairchild explained his newly named starting running back’s style well, “He is that type of back that there’s not a lot of pretty. He’s going to wear you down, so the more carries he gets I think the better chance he has of wearing down second-level defenders and the better he feels.
“He can just get in a groove; that’s the way those types of backs are. Obviously the more we can get him the football the better he is going to do.”
Even with all his recent success, Nwoke was quick to give adoration to his teammates. The sophomore from Highlands Ranch, Colorado has a positive, team-first attitude and it shows.
“It feels great (to finally break through). I mean, the offensive line is blocking terrific, we’re just having a lot of big holes, so it’s allowed me to run through them. We’re playing well together, so I really think that’s the key,” he said.
When he was asked how he fits into the team, Nwoke answered, “We play as a family. We believe in each other. Each play we trust that everybody is going to make that play, to do the right thing. We trust in each other and go full speed.”
Not only is Nwoke’s attitude positive, he’s an astute listener.
When the Rams had ex-Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith come talk to the team at practice last week, he took away this message, “What you do on a daily basis…just to make it a habit to be successful, so on the field it’s automatic.”
And while Colorado State is struggling at 3-5 on the season, Nwoke believes his team has the fortitude to persevere.
“We’re still working (as a team), we have some kinks to work out, but we’re still working hard. Obviously we have heart and passion to get these three, four wins and get to this bowl game. We can do that, we just need to leave it all on the field and have no regrets.”
First thing first, the Rams must beat San Diego State (5-3) this Saturday at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.
Nwoke said the key to getting out of this four-game losing skid is to start fast and believe they can win, “Go full speed and have no regrets.”
Colorado State hosts the Aztecs this Saturday at 4:06 pm MT, and Ram fans are hopeful he continues to run the pigskin with ferocity.
Also: Check out quotes from Steve Fairchild’s Monday press conference here.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being your CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman writes for Blake Street Bulletin, Stadium Journey, Bleacher Report, and Mile High Hoops.
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