For Colorado State football, this season is all about the intangibles.  

Head coach Steve Addazio and several players addressed the media on Aug. 10 with excitement and determination for the 2021 season. The reoccurring theme? The “it” factor.  

After a season that was awash with Colorado State playing only four of their slated eight games for 2020, team mentality, accountability, respect and finding a fit have all been aspects of the game that have developed incredibly through fall camp.  

For Addazio, the team as a whole has improved in their thirst for expertise in the playbook. “They understand and are thirsty for more,” Addazio noted. “For the details, for trying to pay attention and strain through the details.” 

College football is an instant gratification sport, but Addazio and his staff are working to build a detail-oriented foundation that will truly build a program for the Rams. From fundamentals, to mindset, to mentality, Addazio says he’s proud of several aspects of the culture shift for the better. And, that culture shift starts with the leadership. 

In that leadership position is redshirt senior quarterback Todd Centeio. With just one game under his belt from last season, Centeio didn’t have a lot of exposure to mesh with the team in a competitive setting. However, Addazio has a short memory with that game against Fresno State. There’s a reason Centeio started that game, and there’s a reason he is the starting quarterback for the Rams as of right now. 

[Centeio] started in that game because he was the best leader, the best competitor and he had done the things necessary to be in that game […] You don’t measure quarterbacks in their spirals, you measure quarterbacks in their ability to win. Their ability to lead. The intangibles. […] And the players know when guys either have that or they don’t have that. And Todd has that.

Because his team can see it, and Centeio even feels like the leadership comes natural to him, things are finally clicking on the offensive side of the team like they never have before. After having virtually no time to create team chemistry last season, Centeio already feels like this year is far different in the relationship he holds with the team.  

“The ‘it’ factor is also how your team reacts to you and how they respond to you,” Centeio said. “I feel like I have a great relationship with a lot of people. […] I feel like I’ve built that relationship with everybody, and everybody trusts me and I trust them. Respect goes both ways.” 

Respect, and accountability. A team mindset with a goal to win, a drive to execute, and the ability to trust in each other. A culture shift for the whole locker room with everyone striving for the “it” factor and a higher football IQ. The intangibles are what’s going to make the biggest difference for Colorado State football this season. Because this season, the drive to win is there like it has never been before.  


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