When Jay Norvell saw a clip of Ethen Erickson pulling an 18-wheeler behind him, he was hooked.
“I don’t know how familiar you are with the Strongman competition, but you’re talking about (a guy who’s) lifting 350-pound stones over hurdles,” the second-year CSU Rams football coach told The Post. He was asked about Erickson, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive lineman out of Fontana, Calif., who was one of five new players added since December’s National Signing Day period to the program’s recruiting class for the ’23 cycle. “And he’s got some clips of him bench-pressing well over 500 pounds.
“So (not only) is he just incredibly strong, but (Erickson is) an example of the type of kid that we were able to find in this class and that have the physicality, that have the unique athletic traits, that we’re looking for.”
If there was an overriding theme on the second, traditional National Signing Day Wednesday — a day Norvell and a CSU entourage spent in Denver and its surrounding suburbs to meet with media, boosters and fans — it boiled down to two words: Bigger. Better.
The Rams’ class — which totaled 39 signees as of late afternoon Tuesday — featured 10 offensive linemen. Half of those big dudes, including Erickson, are transfers. Six weigh at least 270 pounds. At least 16, including 3-star wideout Stephon Daily out of Phoenix’s Sierra Linda High School, were listed as 6-3 or taller.
The 247Sports.com composite ranked Norvell’s CSU class as the second-best overall in the Mountain West, trailing only Boise State. The Rams class was rated as the No. 70 class nationally by the 247Sports composite, the program’s best ranking for a recruiting cycle since 2010.
Norvell told fans Wednesday that he met his goals of adding more size and speed to the program. Of the 39 members of his second class at CSU, the coach noted, 34 are two-sport athletes.
“We’ve got a wide receiver from Arizona who’s a (6-8) high jumper,” Norvell said of Daily. “That’s a symbol of athletic ability … that athletic ability is what we’re looking for. I spent six years in the NFL … sitting in NFL meetings with general managers and scouting staffs and longtime assistant coaches, and (knowing) what they look for, has really helped me (coming) back to college. And we’re looking for NFL players. Just younger.”
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