Why Steve Addazio believes CSU’s Trey McBride is “the best tight end in the country” – The Denver Post

FORT COLLINS — Colorado State football coach Steve Addazio did not hesitate to answer a bold question.

Is senior Trey McBride the best college tight end in the country?

“Yes,” Addazio said. “I don’t say that flippantly. Because he can do it all.”

CSU opened its fall camp Thursday with heightened expectations for Addazio’s first real season after COVID-19 cancellations left the Rams with only four games last year. Few players on the roster command so much attention as McBride — the versatile 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end who returns to Fort Collins for a fourth season.

“When you talk about a complete tight end for the next level, that can get open and catch the ball, that can block people, is physically tough and (football) is their world … that’s the best tight end in the country right there,” Addazio said.

McBride — a Fort Morgan native with a brother, Toby, on the roster — embraces Addazio’s sky-high expectations.

“There are a lot of great tight ends out there. I’ve still got a lot of things to prove,” McBride said. “But I think I can definitely be one of the top tight ends in the country this year. That’s kind of my goal. There are a lot of things that have to fall into place. I’m excited to play this season and see how it goes.”

McBride established himself among the nation’s elite in a breakout sophomore year with 45 catches for 560 yards and four touchdowns. His high production rate continued a season ago with 15 yards per reception.

Addazio is equally impressed with McBride’s physicality and technique as a blocker. However, Addazio said the Rams opened camp on Thursday with a strong emphasis on their passing game. McBride is a big reason why.

“I know (Addazio) wants to throw the ball a little bit more and be explosive,” McBride said.

McBride considered entering the NFL Draft after his junior year but returned to Fort Collins with the desire to improve his stock. He said the next step is knowing “what every single person on the field is doing” alongside starting quarterback Todd Centeio.

“I really respect (Centeio). He’s a hard-working guy. He’s a winner. He loves football. It’s been great,” McBride said. “Every week, he has a bunch of receivers out there throwing with him. … He wants to be the guy. It’s exciting.”

Team vaccination rate. Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson announced last month that football games will not be rescheduled and teams will receive a forfeit this season if they are unable to field enough players due to a positive COVID-19 test or subsequent teammate/staff quarantine. That shouldn’t be a problem for CSU.

“We have over 99% of our team vaccinated,” Addazio said on Thursday. “We’re still taking all kinds of safety measures. We’re not taking anything for granted.”

It does not appear that CSU received significant pushback from players on getting the shot.

“I just got vaccinated this last week,” punter Ryan Stonehouse said. “As a team, we’re all kind of together in this. … Which has been good because that can ruin team culture. We are able to have open conversations. The coaching staff hasn’t put any pressure on guys. I think it’s their decision to get a shot so they can go play this season.”

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