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From Mullen to CSU: Running backs stick together on and off field

A'Jon Vivens and Marcus McElroy not only play the same position for the Rams, but are college roommates and attended Mullen High School together.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Colorado State Rams’ running back room is full -- of talent.

CSU head coach Steve Addazio, who enters his second season with the Rams, will have at least three quality backs to choose from and use in different spots: David Bailey, a senior who transferred in from Boston College; Marcus McElroy, a graduate student who’s played four seasons for CSU; and A'Jon Vivens, a redshirt junior.

Bailey was the Eagles leading rusher for the Eagles last season. Hey may end up as the number one back, but don’t think McElroy and Vivens won’t be a part of the Rams’ offense

"My role this year will be to step up, have some big runs, try and be a strong back," said McElroy, who finished second on the team in rush yards and first in touchdowns in 2020.

"Coach has faith in us that we’ll be able to step in in different situations and whatever situation may be. My job is to be ready," Vivens said.

McElroy and Vivens spend a lot of time together and not just on the field in the same position group, but as college roommates.

Credit: Jacob Tobey/KUSA

RELATED: College football teams across Colorado countdown to kickoff

"Yeah, it’s been a great experience because, you know, when you know somebody for like seven years and you’ve played with them for this long, being able to play at this level is just a great thing," Vivens said.

Those seven years trace back to the boys’ childhood days, which eventually lead to them staring together at Mullen High School.

McElroy was the squad’s star running back while Vivens was lights out as a wide receiver. He made the switch to running back last season for the Rams. McElroy says their bond is special.

"Always help each other out, always have each other’s back. I mean, this is my guy right here," McElroy  said. "No matter what always have his back, he always has mine. I’ll always know that until the end of this life."

Both Ram rushers sport similar dreadlocks hairstyles, are the same age (21) and play the same position … So do people confuse the two look alike?

"Not anymore," says McElroy. "Not like they used to. When we were in high school, yeah."

Vivens  added: "Yeah it’s rare that people will confuse us at this point."

McElroy could have graduated last season but made the decision to play one more season for CSU. He’s stated he’s left some things on the table that he wants to finish.

"When he (Marcus) left for college, I didn't know that I was gonna come to CSU at the time," said Vivens. "I didn’t know if we’d ever play together again so to have another year is definitely great."

The Rams open up their season Friday, September 3rd against South Dakota State.

Credit: Jacob Tobey/KUSA

RELATED: CSU quarterback out for season with injury


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