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Fairview alumni duo of Greenwald, Blackburn to reunite at Colorado State

Greenwald, transfer from Boise State, hopeful of chance to impact special teams and offense

Boise State transfer/incoming CSU wideout Matt Greenwald (left) poses for a photo alongside current CSU safety Henry Blackburn (right). (Photo courtesy of Matt Greenwald)
Boise State transfer/incoming CSU wideout Matt Greenwald (left) poses for a photo alongside current CSU safety Henry Blackburn (right). (Photo courtesy of Matt Greenwald)

FORT COLLINS –– Several Division I football programs banged on Matt Greenwald’s door following the former Boise State receiver’s decision to pack his bags for the transfer portal in late December.

Greenwald’s list of potential destinations inflated in a matter of days, while included the likes of Montana State, Eastern Illinois and multiple others. All options proved intriguing.

However, no possible landing spot stood out to Colorado State’s extent. And the reason for such didn’t simply concern that CSU provided an opportunity for the Boulder native to return to his home state.

Instead, first-year head coach Jay Norvell’s high-powered passing offense grabbed Greenwald’s eye like no other.
The rest was history as Greenwald expressed intentions to join the Rams via Twitter last Thursday.

“CSU jumped out to me once coach Norvell got the job,” Greenwald described. “Also, their offense at Nevada caught my attention when we played them last year at Boise. As a receiver, I’m excited to play in that offense. That’s the biggest reason I came.”

Norvell and now-CSU offensive coordinator Matt Mumme’s scheme, also known as the air raid offense, amassed nearly 300 passing yards in a 41-31 victory at BSU last season as Greenwald observed said mastery from the sidelines. The Wolf Pack eventually concluded 2021’s campaign as the nation’s sixth-leading passing attack (347 yards per game) before the majority of Nevada’s offensive staff followed Norvell to Fort Collins.

Hence, it’s easy to see why Greenwald instantaneously grew fond of CSU when deciphering where he would take his talents with four seasons of eligibility left in the tank.

Beyond the brilliance he witnessed when Nevada defeated the Broncos last October, the incoming wideout learned even more about how the Rams offense fits Greenwald’s desires when chatting with Mumme before exiting the transfer portal.

“After I entered the portal, I got in contact with Mumme and talked about the offense they’re gonna run,” Greenwald said. “The spread and the passing attack really caught my attention. I was super excited about that. And it’s really similar to my high school offense at Fairview.”

With CSU intending on utilizing its six remaining scholarships for defensive players, Greenwald will arrive in Fort Collins as a preferred walk-on.

Still, if his accomplishments within Fairview’s similar playbook suggest anything, perhaps the underclassman will eventually work his way into a meaningful role at CSU.

As a prep senior in 2018, Greenwald obtained scholarship offers from Northern Colorado, Weber State and Western Illinois in light of a head-turning campaign. Specifically, he turned 60 receptions into 1,181 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also received PWO offers from BSU, CSU, Wyoming and Colorado after averaging better than 20 yards per grab in three seasons as a prep star.

And speaking of Fairview, the nearby institution might ring a bell for Ram fans. Of course, current CSU standout Henry Blackburn attended FHS alongside Greenwald.

They didn’t merely play on the same team for three years, either.

“I’m really close with (Blackburn),” Greenwald said. “We grew up together and he’s one of my best friends.”

Given their tight-knit companionship, Greenwald promptly reached out to Blackburn upon receiving CSU’s PWO offer. The latter, a sophomore safety, spoke highly of the Rams –– representing another deciding factor in Greenwald’s decision.

Daily Camera file photo
Boise State transfer/incoming CSU wideout Matt Greenwald (No. 23) celebrates alongside current CSU safety Henry Blackburn during their careers as Fairview High School standouts.

“I talked to him a lot about it,” he said. “He loves it and the impact he made right away as a true freshman was huge. Him saying that he loves it there earned my trust. And going to a school where you already know someone is definitely an advantage.”

Greenwald and Blackburn will live together once the former gathers his belongings and travels to Fort Collins. But Greenwald doesn’t simply hope to converse with Blackburn inside their campus apartment.

Instead, he aspires to emerge as a trusty wideout alongside Blackburn on the opposite side of the ball for the green and gold.

Doing so certainly won’t occur seamlessly as a PWO among a roster that will presumably contain around 10 scholarship receivers. Nevertheless, Greenwald possesses a plan.

“To earn the trust of the coaches, you have to make an impact on special teams,” he described. “So that’s my goal right away. Then hopefully I can kind of be that slot guy and someone we can go to when we need a big play.”

Greenwald’s desire to steer his career in a productive direction is evident. One can hear the motivation in his voice, which makes perfect sense considering how his BSU tenure unfolded.

Greenwald never emerged as more than an afterthought at BSU. As a Bronco, the 6-foot, 197-pound wideout grayshirted the 2019 season before failing to obtain any live-game reps throughout the 2020 and 2021 campaigns.

Now, as Greenwald believes, it’s time to pick up where he left off at Fairview and manifest the collegiate success he envisioned when joining BSU.

“I had a great time at Boise but I didn’t play, which was tough,” Greenwald said. “So I have a huge chip on my shoulder to prove myself. In high school, I had a good career. But I’m looking to have a better one at CSU. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

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