UW football fall camp update – Day 17

The grind of preseason practice hasn’t worn down the sense of humor of coach Craig Bohl.
Asked why his team started Thursday’s practice indoors despite a light rain, Bohl drew smiles and laughs.
Craig Bohl

Craig Bohl

“We’re soft,” the second-year coach said jokingly.

In reality, Bohl wanted his players focused and not distracted by the precipitation while doing walk-throughs as preparation ramps up for the season opener Sept. 5 against North Dakota.
The team moved outside to the stadium for much of practice, and Bohl said it’s important to practice in poor weather for players to get used to handling wet balls.
Bohl said no new injuries were suffered and the team is getting closer to full strength. 
“We’ll taper back a little bit on contact with half-padded practice (today) and then have a game-like scrimmage on Saturday,” he said. “Usually, on game week we pare way back to make sure we’re fresh and all our bumps and bruises are gone.”

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Thornton making strides at wide receiver

With all the hype of Wyoming five freshmen wide receivers, it was nice to see — and perhaps a little surprising — junior Tom Thornton on the two-deep roster on the latest depth chart released Tuesday.

Tom Thornton

Tom Thornton

Thornton was UW’s backup quarterback last season, and was moved to receiver prior to the start of spring drills. Thornton was listed as the backup behind junior Jake Maulhardt at the Cowboys’ ‘X’ receiver spot.

“Any time a guy plays quarterback he has a good understanding of the passing game,” second-year coach Craig Bohl said Tuesday. “The other thing we’ve found through the years is typically quarterbacks have great hand-eye coordination.

“To find a place on the field for Tommy is going to be important. How many meaningful reps he plays is going to be determined by how he does the rest of fall camp.”

Thornton missed some time during fall camp with a concussion, but has been practicing lately.

On a team with a lot of good guys, Thornton is at or near the top of that list. He’s always very friendly and happy. It couldn’t have been easy to make the position change he made, but he has taken it in stride and with great class. It’s hard not to root for a guy like him.

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UW’s young receivers trying to break into exclusive group

What started out as something fun turned into a little bit of controversey — but still fun.

Talking to a couple of Wyoming’s true freshmen wide receivers the last few days, they said they have the nickname of WWA — Wide receivers With Attitude.

But after Tuesday’s practice, a previous blog post on this was already up, UW junior receivers Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt came up to me and told me the real story.

Both said they were the ones that came up with the nickname for the current group of receivers during spring drills. Only one of the true freshmen receivers were there then — Joe Parker — who graduated from high school early and enrolled at UW in January.

Gentry and Maulhardt said guys have to earn their way into the WWA, and Maulhardt said both were bothered so much by what the freshmen’s perception of this that he and Gentry wouldn’t allow the freshmen to eat lunch with them Tuesday.

Still, it’s a fun story and there is more on these guys in Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also on wyosports.net.

Dameko Doddles

Dameko Doddles

True freshman Dameko Doddles (6-2, 208) goes into a little more detail on each one and some of the characteristics of all of UW’s wide receivers.

Here is Doddles’ description of each one:

Joe Parker (5-10, 182): “Small and shifty.”

Justice Murphy (6-0, 180): “Bigger, but a shifty receiver, too.”

Himself and James Price (6-2, 208): “More of a big body. JP likes to back-shoulder the most. I’m more of a post-up type of guy.”

C.J. Johnson (6-2, 190): “A finesse receiver. He’s smooth.”

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Cowboys begin final week of fall camp

Wyoming first practice of the final week of fall camp was Monday morning in War Memorial Stadium. The Cowboys will practice twice Monday, with the second one at 3:50 p.m.

Monday is the 14th straight day UW has practiced since the start of fall camp, and Monday afternoon’s work out will be its 20th.

Shaun Wick

Shaun Wick

The Cowboys had their full collection of running backs. Senior Shaun Wick (concussion), sophomore Josh Tapscott (illness) and redshirt freshman Nico Evans (hamstring) all practiced, as did sophomore Brian Hill, who didn’t play in last Saturday’s scrimmage due to a tight hamstring.

Here are some highlights from the early portions of practice.

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Comparing my AP preseason college football poll to the official one released Sunday

The Associated Press released its preseason top 25 college football poll Sunday.

I was asked to be a voter this year, so throughout the season I will share my poll with you. I have been an AP  poll voter in the past, but prior to the College Football Playoff I voted in the Harris Poll, which was a part of the Bowl Championship Series process.

First, here is the link to the official poll:

Here’s how I voted:

1. Ohio State

2. TCU
3. Alabama
4. Baylor
5. Auburn
6. Michigan State
7. Oregon
8. Florida State
9. Georgia
10. Clemson
11. USC
12. UCLA
13. LSU
14. Notre Dame
15. Georgia Tech
16. Oklahoma
17. Arkansas
18. Arizona State
19. Wisconsin
20. Ole Miss
21. Stanford
22. Boise State
23. Missouri
24. Arizona
25. Texas A&M

Notes, quotes and video from UW’s first scrimmage of fall camp

Normally after Wyoming games I like to post some of my thoughts. Well, it’s kind of hard to post any thoughts from the Cowboys’ 41-play scrimmage Saturday since it was closed to the public and media.

So, I will let second-year coach Craig Bohl tell you what he saw:

No official stats were kept, but I can report that redshirt senior starting quarterback Cameron Coffman was 6 of 9 for 76 yards, and sophomore backup Josh Allen was 5 of 6 for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Allen threw a 20-yard touchdown to redshirt freshman tight end Tyree Mayfield, and a 6-yarder to true freshman tight end Josh Harshman of Casper.

Tyree Mayfield

Tyree Mayfield

Coffman hit Mayfield for a 23-yard pass that set up a 3-yard touchdown run by true freshman running back Kellen Overstreet, who finished with 10 carries for 46 yards.

Mayfield also blocked a punt, and he said he expects to not only play a lot this season at tight end but also on several of UW’s special teams.

Here’s what offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Vigen said after the scrimmage: “Cam continues to be steady,and also is making plays. He handled himself well. Josh continues to progress. We’re excited to get Cam in a game.”

Vigen also said Coffman remains the starter by a wide margin, followed by Allen and redshirt freshman Nick Smith.

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Saturday’s scrimmage another step forward for Coffman

It’s not a real game, but it’s the next closest thing for Wyoming as it hosts its first and only major scrimmage of fall camp at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Major may not be a good work as coach Craig Bohl said it will consist of around 42 plays. “That’s an indication that we’ve had a pretty aggressive camp,” he said. “We will get some work to some of the guys we think need work. We will hold some guys out. I’ve looked at the number of guys we need to take a look at, and I also want to make sure we go into our first game healthy.”

The scrimmage is closed to the public and media, but here’s what Bohl said after Friday morning’s practice about it, and a few other things.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Redshirt senior starting quarterback Cameron Coffman feels like the scrimmage is important for him. Coffman has not played in a real game since 2013. The last time in a scrimmage-situation was in April in UW’s spring game.

“It’s as close of a look at a real game before our first one,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to go out, compete and act like it’s a real game.

“It’s definitely a whole lot easier going through this offense for the second time. I feel more comfortable with everybody. I know the plays, the playbook and the reads. I’ve gotten better at it, but need to continue to get better.”

As for what he wants to accomplish in Saturday’s scrimmage, Coffman added: “Compete and do well as an offense. Move the ball down the field, get first downs and get in the end zone.”

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UW football fall camp notes – Day 11

Wyoming completed its 14th practice of fall camp Thursday morning in full pads, and coach Craig Bohl said there were no new injuries.

“We’re introducing some new schemes against different opponents,” he said. “As far as that goes, sometimes that slows some things down, but I thought we’re making progress, probably not as fast as what I’d like today, but progress.”
Adam Pilapil

Adam Pilapil

Bohl talked about the safeties, and said: “I think (redshirt freshman walk-on) Adam Pilapil has probably done the best job. (True freshman) Andrew Wingard continues to improve. (Redshirt freshman walk-on) Marcus Epps has done some good things. We’re gonna probably wait until after (Saturday’s) scrimmage to make a final decision on whose gonna be playing with the starters.”

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UW football fall camp – Day 10

Wyoming practiced in War Memorial Stadium Wednesday morning after stretching in its indoor practice facility. It was cool enough with lows in the 30s Tuesday night in Laramie for the coaches not to worry about the heat index on the artificial playing surface in the stadium.

UW did some blitz work, and coach Craig Bohl liked what he saw: “I thought that our quarterbacks made some good decisions. There weren’t as many guys running free open, so as we integrate more and more of those schemes our execution’s improving.”

Seth Edeen

Seth Edeen

Was sad to hear that two in-state players for the Cowboys decided to call it a career due to health issues. Sophomore defensive end Seth Edeen of Cheyenne announced on Twitter late Tuesday night of his decision based on him having only one kidney. Junior wide receiver Tanner Simpson of Lander announced his decision on Twitter Wednesday morning due to a nagging foot issue.

Here is Edeen’s Tweet:

Tanner Simpson

Tanner Simpson

Here is Simpson’s Tweet:

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Freeman’s speed, abilities catching the eyes of coaches during fall camp

One of Wyoming’s true freshman football players that has been getting a lot of attention so far in camp in cornerback Davion Freeman.

Davion Freeman

Davion Freeman

The 5-foot-9, 156-pounder from Del City, Oklahoma, is competing with fellow true freshman Antonio Hull (5-10, 188) from Diamond Bar, California, for playing time — and perhaps a starting job.

Second-year coach Craig Bohl said one or both could see playing time this season, and that Saturday’s scrimmage will go a long way towards making that decision.

“Just effort. Sprinting to the ball after each play. Just hustling,” said Freeman recently on how he’s been able to have early success in fall camp. “The coaches notice that and want you on the field. When you hustle anything can happen. When there’s a fumble and you;re there to pick it up.”

Learning the play book and an more complex defensive scheme are the two things Freeman said has been the biggest adjustment for him at the college level so far.

“Once I do that, things should go real good,” Freeman said.

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