Colorado State football: Quarterback Clay Millen day-to-day; two veterans leave team

Quarterback Clay Millen is "day-to-day" after being injured in Colorado State's fourth game of the season.

Coach Jay Norvell said the bye week for the Rams gives Millen a chance to rest and step back. Millen has been at practice, but in the portions open to media viewing he hasn't been throwing passes as he nurses an injured throwing shoulder.

CSU next plays Oct. 7 at Nevada, where Norvell, Millen and a host of other Rams were last season. Norvell didn't hint after Wednesday's practice who he expected to start that game. If Millen can't go, it will likely be true freshman Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi.

Fowler-Nicolosi entered the game against Sacramento State in the second quarter after Millen was injured. He led the Rams to a touchdown on his second drive, connecting with Tory Horton on a 52-yard TD pass for the first touchdown of Fowler-Nicolosi's career.

He finished the game 6-of-15 for 116 yards and a touchdown and has been leading the No. 1 reps in practice.

"He’s done a really good job in all those drills. I think it will continue to help prepare him to be a player," Norvell said. "Any time you get a chance to play you learn valuable lessons that you need to learn from and grow from."

Millen, a 6-foot-3 redshirt freshman, has started all four games this season. He's 68-of-92 (74%) for 667 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. He's been sacked 24 times, which leads all of FBS.

Fowler-Nicolosi is a 6-foot-1 true freshman from Aledo, Texas. Redshirt freshman Giles Pooler was the backup in camp and early in the season, but Fowler-Nicolosi appeared to move into that spot a couple weeks into the season. Pooler came in for mop up duty late in a Week 1 loss at Michigan, but it was Fowler-Nicolosi who did the same thing Week 3 at Washington State.

Tywan Francis, Ty McCullouch leave CSU football team

Two starters have left the CSU football team this week. Receiver Ty McCullouch announced Tuesday he would enter the transfer portal once the window opens in December. Norvell confirmed Wednesday that safety Tywan Francis has also left the team.

McCullouch is second on the team in receiving yards with 119 on 13 catches. He has 41 catches for 596 yards and a touchdown in his career.

Francis is third on the team with 32 tackles this season, plus two pass breakups. He has been starting as the nickel back. The 5-foot-11 fifth-year player has 176 tackles in his career, plus two forced fumbles.

Tracking roster changes:Updates on players leaving the CSU football team

CSU has had at least seven players who are seniors, fifth-year or graduate players leave the program.

“I started this season talking to these guys about the past and how they could change the past and it amazes me that all these guys who are playing and starting don’t want to play anymore. It kind of shows me what we were playing with and we were depending on people who we probably couldn’t depend on," Norvell said.

"I come from the school of I want to give people the opportunity to show who they are, what their colors are. We gave a lot of guys opportunities and unfortunately, they didn’t want to take advantage of them. We continue to move on. We have a lot of good, young players who need the reps and are going to get an opportunity to play."

Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle on Twitter and Instagram @Kevin_Lytle.

This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: CSU football players Tywan Francis, Ty McCullouch leave team