Pick the 10

I’m following up on something Wyoming co-offensive line coach Pete Kaligis told me after Tuesday’s scrimmage. He said he has 10 offensive linemen who are ready to play for the Cowboys this season.

By the way, eight linemen played for the Pokes last season, six of which got starts.

Who do you think the 10 players are Kaligis is talking about?

Let’s start with the starters.

Junior center Nick Carlson is a lock. At guard, senior Brandon Self and sophomore Tyler Strong have played exclusively with the No. 1 offense in the Cowboys’ first three scrimmages, along with junior right tackle Kyle Magnuson.

Seniors Clayton Kirven (two scrimmage starts) and John Hutchins (one start) likely will alternate at left tackle, and are two of the most experienced linemen UW has. Hutchins also can play guard.

That’s six.

Junior Josh Leonard has starting experience at tackle and is Magnuson’s backup right now, so he makes seven. Junior-college transfer Zach Rushing is pushing both Self and Strong at both guard spots┬áso that’s eight.

Coach Dave Christensen said after Tuesday’s practice that redshirt freshman offensive tackle Daniel Fleischman should be ready to return from injury in about a week, so I’m going to include him because I know Christensen and the other coaches have been high on him since he signed.

OK, we’re at nine.

My 10th right now would be redshirt freshman Travis Bogard at center, listed as Carlson’s backup. If I needed a wildcard I would go with redshirt freshman guard Skyler Hinton.

Any thoughts or opinions on this?

Speaking of offensive linemen, see my story in Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang on Self and Strong, and their improbable path to becoming likely starters.

4 thoughts on “Pick the 10

  1. Since we apparently have so many “ready” linemen, move Strong back to DT. I think he would contribute a lot more on the D-Line than keeping him as a O-Line.

    • Good point Ron, but at this point he’s among the five best on the O- line right now. Both lines are important but the kid must be doing something right to have maintained his starting job this long. If he was a backup I see more of moving him back to defense. But you do bring up a good point.

      Thanks and have a good one.

      RG

  2. Hopefully this means we redshirt the true freshman OL guys. Besides moving guys from the DL, I am liking how the line is panning out. Too bad Di’Re isn’t able to play anymore. I hope the line is as good as some are thinking it is.

    • I haven’t seen any of the true freshmen OL progress fast enough now to get playing time, which maybe is a good thing so they can redshirt.

      I fully beleive that if Fleischman didn’t get hurt and DiRe could have stayed playing, both would have been starters this year, or at least by season’s end. That’s how high the coaches are/were on them.

      Thank Sean. Take care.

      RG

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