Rams open spring drills

For only the second time in his 11-year career at Colorado State University, head football coach Sonny Lubick has a quarterback entering his third season as the team's starter.

Senior-to-be Bradlee Van Pelt, who took over as the starter early in 2001, has guided the Rams to back-to-back bowl games and a conference title in 2002.  Colorado State has a 16-7 in games that Van Pelt has started.

Last season, he gained 819 rushing yards, most by a quarterback in school history, and threw for 2073 yards on his way to first-team all-league honors.  Van Pelt's 2,892 total yards is the third most in a season in school history.

Van Pelt was also named the Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year.

Van Pelt said Thursday that through three days of spring workouts, he's still seeking the timing he felt with the team's offense by the end of the 2002 season.

"The timing isn't there yet, but we're working on it," he said.  "It takes a few days to get the timing down.  We'll get there."

He's also anxious to continue his growth as a quarterback. 

"I felt like I improved a lot last year, but I still have a long way to go.  I'm going to work hard and keep trying to improve," he said.

Van Pelt is one of eight returning offensive starters for the Rams, who ranked among the national leaders a year ago in total offense and points per game.

Now having completed three of the team's 15 workouts, the Rams will take Friday off then return to the field Saturday morning at 10 a.m. for a two-hour workout to conclude the first week of spring drills.

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