FORT COLLINS, Colo. (BVM) — There have been over 100 Colorado State football players drafted into the NFL, but the vast majority of them have not found a lot of success playing on Sundays. There have, however, been some former Rams who have managed to make a big impact at the game’s highest level, including one of the best to ever play for one of the league’s proudest franchises.
Here are the top five former CSU Rams to make it in the NFL.
5. Michael Gallup
After transferring from Butler Community College (Kansas), Gallup became a star in his two seasons with the Rams, recording 176 receptions for 2,685 yards and 21 touchdowns between his junior and senior seasons and leaving CSU as one of its most accomplished receivers of all time. A second team All-American selection in 2017, Gallup was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round (81st overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft the following spring. He broke out his second season in Dallas when he hauled in 66 receptions for 1,107 receiving yards and six TDs and then followed that up with 59 catches, 843 yards and five receiving TDs in 2020. Only 25 years old, Gallup is on pace to have one of the strongest pro careers of any former Ram.
Michael Gallup: Ankle taker
— PFF (@PFF) December 27, 2020
4. Shaquil Barrett
Barrett began his college football career at Nebraska-Omaha, but he transferred to CSU after UNO cut its football program in 2010. He had 246 tackles (116 solo), 18 sacks, 32.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions while starting 35-of-38 games in his three seasons with the Rams and was named the Mountain West Defensive Player after a standout senior season in which he recorded 12 sacks, which ranked fifth in the country. Barrett went undrafted out of college, but the Denver Broncos signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He spent four seasons in Denver before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed him in 2019, setting the stage for Barrett’s breakout. He recorded a league-leading 19.5 sacks his first year in Tampa and made his first Pro Bowl while earning a second team All-Pro nod. He helped the Bucs win the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history the following season and remains an anchor of one of the best defensive units in the NFL.
— NFL (@NFL) January 24, 2021
3. Al “Bubba” Baker
Known as a backbone of Colorado State’s “Big Green” defense of the 1970s, Baker would make even more of a name for himself in the pros. He was selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round (40th overall) of the 1978 NFL Draft and he immediately made his presence felt by recording 23 sacks (an unofficial stat at the time) during his first year in the league and earning All-Pro and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Baker would play five seasons in Detroit (1978-1982) and unofficially recorded 75.5 sacks, including the franchise’s top three single-season sack efforts of all time. After leaving the Lions, the defensive end played four seasons and recorded 37.5 sacks with the St. Louis Cardinals. He retired as a Cleveland Brown in 1990 and remained in the Cleveland area after football, opening up a restaurant called Bubba’s Q World-famous Bar-B-Que & Catering in Avon, Ohio.
— Chuck Smith #DrRush “Teacher of Pass Rush” (@chucksmithnfl) May 20, 2021
2. Lawrence McCutcheon
In three seasons at CSU, McCutcheon rushed for nearly 3,000 yards (2,917) and led the WAC in yards from scrimmage in both 1970 (1,494) and 1971 (1,309) before the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams made him a third-round draft pick when they selected him 70th overall in 1972. McCutcheon would play 10 seasons in the league, the first eight in Los Angeles where he became one of the franchise’s greatest players of the decade. He led the Rams in rushing for five consecutive seasons (1973-1977) and was selected for the Pro Bowl all five of those seasons. In addition to the five straight Pro Bowl seasons, McCutcheon was also named a second team All-Pro in 1974. He reached Super Bowl XIV with the Rams at the end of his final season in Los Angeles in 1979, but the Rams lost the game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-19. McCutcheon retired in 1981 with 6,578 career rushing yards and 26 touchdowns.
1. Joey Porter
After beginning his college career at CSU as an H-back on offense, Porter not only made a successful transition to defense, but he became one of the best defensive players in the country. A third team All-American selection, Porter recorded 22 career sacks for the Rams, including 14 as a senior in 1998. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round (73rd overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft and he would become one of the league’s premier players at the linebacker position. Porter was a four-time Pro Bowler, a two-time first team All-Pro and a two-time second team All-Pro during his 13-year NFL career, with the first eight of those years spent in the Steel City. After he became a Super Bowl Champion with the Steelers in 2006, he played only one more season in Pittsburgh before signing with the Miami Dolphins in 2007. He played three seasons with the Dolphins, earning his final All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods in 2008, playing two more seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. Porter signed a one-day contract with the Steelers in 2012 so that he could officially retire with the organization that brought him into the league. A member of the Steelers’ all-time team, Porter finished his career with 667 tackles, 98 sacks, 26 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, 12 interceptions and three defensive TDs.
"It meant everything to play for the Steelers."
Former LB and current LB Coach Joey Porter talks about what wearing Black & Gold means to him. pic.twitter.com/KHs5lEIKGW
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 22, 2018