MAC SIGNS FIRST CLASS
Feb. 1, 2012
Composite winning percentage: Combining the won-loss records of the teams from the Class of 2012, one thing is abundantly clear: The newest Rams will arrive with a habit of winning, and winning often.
- During the players’ senior years of high school, the Class of 2012 compiled an aggregate 205-78 record (.724).
- During their junior years, the newest players were 193-92 (.677).
- And in their sophomore years, the signees were 175-95 (.648).
Plenty of championships: Players that joined the Rams Wednesday also were used to winning team championships.
- Four signees were part of state championships their senior years of high school (Danny Nwosu in Maryland, Johnny Schupp in California, Fred Zerblis in Georgia and Chuck Ragland in Colorado).
- An incredible 11 of the signees during their senior years won conference or district championships.
- During their junior seasons, the players picked up another state title (Nolan Peralta, California), played in another championship game (A.J. Frieler, Colorado) and captured four more conference or district crowns.
Playoff appearances: All told, the teams of the players that joined the program Wednesday, accumulated 19 playoff appearances in their respective states. That number was 12 during their junior seasons.
- What’s more, Chuck Ragland’s team won two straight junior-college bowl games.
- Calvin Tonga’s Arizona Western College played in the national junior-college championship.
Other championships: The class signees also garnered a host of miscellaneous honors.
- Mister Jones helped Littleton to a Colorado team championship in track.
- Chuck Ragland started on a Mullen basketball team that went to the final four of the state tournament.
- Nick Callender took home individual conference honors in the shot put.
- Darran Hall’s track team was a CIF section finalist.
- Shaq Walker was the No. 1 discus thrower in his region.
All-Americans: Two CSU players were All-Americans in high school, and not just in football. Kevin Davis was a Parade All-American in football, while Johnny Schupp was an All-American in wrestling and A.J. Frieler was an All-American in track and field.
All-Colorado selections: Not only does McElwain’s inaugural class contain plenty of Colorado flavor, it also contains the crème de la crème of the state. The Class of 2012 includes five players that earned Denver Post All-Colorado recognition, the most prestigious accolade in the state because it lists the best players regardless of classification. All-Colorado in the Class of 2012:
- Kevin Davis, Fountain-Fort Carson - 2011
- A.J. Frieler, Greeley West - 2009
- Joe Hansley, Highlands Ranch - 2011
- Mister Jones, Littleton - 2009
- Charles Ragland, Mullen - 2008
In the classroom: The Class of 2012 features 11 student-athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in high school:
Gold rush: The Rams landed four outstanding linemen from Northern California, three high-school players and a junior-college transfer. From the prep ranks, CSU signed OT Nick Callender (St. Mary’s College High School in Hayward), DL Mitch Frentescu (Las Lomas in Walnut Creek) and TE Johnny Schupp (Vacaville), who played offensive line in high school. Plus, CSU is bringing home 6-7, 295-pound Chuck Ragland (College of San Mateo), who helped Mullen to a 2008 state championship. The foursome includes:
- A Bay Area News Group Cream of the Crop selection (Callender).
- Two linemen of the year (Callender, Bay Shore Athletic League; and Schupp, Fairfield region and Monticello Empire);
- Two all-East Bay selections (Callender, Frentescu) from the Bay Area News Group.
- Two all-Metro selections (Callender, Frentescu) from the San Francisco Chronicle.
- A key contributor to a state championship (Schupp).
- A JC starter (Ragland) on one of the state’s top teams, San Mateo, which won consecutive bowl games.
Another Sunday Showdown: The Rocky Mountain Showdown, the annual clash between the Rams and their oldest rivals, the CU Buffs, is moving to Sunday.
- The teams now will kick off their respective seasons, and McElwain’s debut as CSU head coach, on Sept. 2 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. CU, per the current contract, again is the home team this year. While kickoff time will be determined by the Pac-12 TV partners, since the home team’s conference is responsible for television, the two schools wanted to be sure fans marked their calendars, since the event falls on Labor Day weekend.
- The last time the teams met on a Sunday night, Sept. 6, 2009, CSU went into Boulder and turned away the Buffs, 23-17. Playing on Sunday again could provide the schools an opportunity to showcase their rivalry in an exclusive nationally televised timeslot, as the only major-college or NFL game in session at the time. NFL teams are generally making final roster moves on that day, having concluded the preseason in the days before. The majority of college teams, meanwhile, open their regular seasons in the three days before that Labor Day Sunday.
Plenty of frequent-flyer miles: Jim McElwain in the course of six days during the heat of January recruiting season was in San Francisco and Atlanta, not mention several stops in between. And that didn’t include the trips he made to and from Fort Collins for his Dec. 13 press conference and preparations for the Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship. All told, McElwain flew 9,619 miles in six weeks since accepting the CSU position. A complete list:
|Tuscaloosa – Fort Collins, Dec. 12||1,088|
|Fort Collins – Tuscaloosa, Dec. 18||1,088|
|Tuscaloosa – New Orleans, Jan. 4||266|
|New Orleans – Fort Collins, Jan. 9||1,106|
|Denver – Dallas, Jan. 15||663|
|Dallas – Abilene, Jan. 15||157|
|Abilene – Dallas, Jan. 16||157|
|Dallas – San Francisco, Jan. 17||1,460|
|Oakland – Ontario, Calif., Jan. 18||361|
|San Diego – Denver, Jan. 19||852|
|Denver – Kansas City, Jan. 22||531|
|Kansas City – Atlanta, Jan. 23||690|
|Atlanta – Denver, Jan. 24||1,200|
|Total air miles||9,619|
Unique sports: Kevin Davis, a LB from Fountain-Fort Carson south of Colorado Springs, also played ice hockey in high school.
- Meanwhile, K/P Keenan Adams shot his first turkey at age 5 and is a household name in the turkey-hunting community. The youngest person ever to use a bow to pull off the ‘World Slam,’ bagging at least one turkey from each of the world’s seven wild species, Adams actually has accomplished the feat 14 times. He’s also won several Shooter of the Year awards from the Archery Shooters Association.
- Joe Hansley was a second-team all-state selection in lacrosse.
Football captains: Overall, 13 of CSU’s signees were captains:
D’arric Thomas (also Track team)
Ironmen: Nick Callender didn't miss a start in three years, ending his high-school career with a 33-game streak.
- Fred Zerblis started the final 29 games of his career.
- Bryan Ohene missed only 2 games as a varsity player.
- Chuck Ragland started every game during his senior season (only played two years).