Colorado State’s Weston Richburg went from a relative unknown at a struggling program to being part of a group that revitalized the program and got them back to the postseason. Richburg is currently vying for the top center spot in this year’s talented NFL Draft class.
In addition to reflecting on his career in Fort Collins, Richburg discusses his approach to the center position, life after football, the most bizarre question he has been asked in interviews, thoughts on some of his fellow teammates going into the draft, and his training with LeCharles Bentley.
Peter Smith: How did you ultimately end up going to Colorado State?
Weston Richburg: Well, I didn’t get recruited a lot out of high school. So, it was Colorado State, TCU recruited me a little bit at the end of my recruiting process, but ultimately, I wanted to major in Animal Science because I grew up on a farm back in Amarillo (Texas). CSU has a really good animal science department, so I thought that was a perfect match for me.
PS: When I saw you were an animal science major, the first thought that came to mind was that if you were elbow deep in a cow, that calf is going to walk out.
WR: (Laughs) Yea. Yea and I’ve actually had experience with that before. And I love every part about dealing with animals like that. People think it’s disgusting, but, you know, it’s cool and yes, you do feel bad for the cow that has to walk after I do that.
PS: Is that ultimately what you’d like to do after your career with football? Some kind of vet tech, primarily working with farm animals?
WR: Yea, I think so. That’s what my dad does right now. He’s got some cows and he does all of his own artificial insemination, those type of things. I’d like to do that, ultimately, somewhere down in Texas after I’m done.
PS: What has been the change in environment since you got to Fort Collins with the coaching changes and everything that has changed since you arrived?
WR: Yea, you know, someone mentioned it the other day. The senior class we had come out this last year; we were recruited by Coach (Steve) Fairchild; he was there my first three years. So, you know, those guys gave me a shot when not a lot of other people did. I’m really grateful for what they did in getting me to CSU.
But, you know, they were two completely different staffs. Coach (Jim) McElwain came in and really, he was really on top of things. He knows where everybody is supposed to be. He makes sure you go there and there’s a lot more accountability, from coaches to players and from player to player as well. And that carried on to the field; guys paying attention to details. That was a big thing we talked about. Pay attention to details in the classroom; that’s going to carry over onto the field. Line up where you’re supposed to, get off on the snap you’re supposed to, things like that. The attention to detail was much more stressed with Coach McElwain.
PS: How much trust did they have in you when it comes to line calls from Coach Fairchild and then as a senior with Coach McElwain?
WR: I was really fortunate because my first offensive line coach (Pat Meyer), who is now the offensive line coach of the (Chicago) Bears. He really threw me into the fire my freshman years; really gave me a lot of responsibility early on. He stuck with me. He kept me in there to keep the best five linemen in there, so I was always in there. He really trusted me with that.
As far as responsibilities go, I was taking control of basically everything. Making the Mike points, kind of declaring what kind of front the defense was in, and then making a pass protection call or a run call. So, I was really fortunate to be able to control a lot of things up there.
PS: To what do you credit your motor and how hard you work? Where does that come from?
WR: I get mad sometimes. I think that’s a cool part of the game, as long as you can control it. If you can get mad and use that to help you in the game and just go finish people all the time. That’s what I love about football and something I try to do. And something I think I should do more. Like I said, that’s a cool part of football. If you can use your anger right, I mean, you can go out there and get after dudes, which is a lot of fun.
PS: What is your impression of the rest of the class including Crockett Gilmore, Shaquil Barrett and Kapri Bibbs?
WR: You know, it speaks a lot about what we’ve been through because they’ve been through what I’ve been through, which is three losing seasons and a fourth one with much improvement. So it shows the determination just to continue, stick with it.
These guys are hard workers. You know, Shaq Barrett, I don’t think he’s gotten enough credit for what he did. He was Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, didn’t get a combine invite. I was kind of shocked by that.
Hard workers, you got Crockett Gilmore, we’re from the same high school. He works just as hard as anyone else does, if not more. Then you got Kapri. Great player, really talented; I’m excited to see what he does. We’ve got some guys, Shaq Bell who’s coming out, Calvin Tonga, Chris Nwoke, some other guys that have been training back at school because they are still working on school that have been through the same things we’ve been through. We have a really strong bond; it’s something really special.