Players come and players go for UW

Monday was the first day of classes for the spring semester at Wyoming, and a busy day in the form of announcements as UW announced three mid-year signees and four scholarship players that won’t be back.

The biggest news among the player depatures was receiver Josh Doctson. As a true freshman Doctson caught 35 passes for 393 yards and five touchdowns. Three of those scores came in UW’s final two games — two against Colorado State and one against Temple on the New Mexico Bowl. He became UW’s big-play threat late in the season.

I thought Doctson showed impressive ball skills as the season went on and had great size at 6-4. He will be missed. Not sure why Doctson left, and after the bowl game loss to Temple he talked like he was coming back. Could have been homesick. Seemed like he was very close to family and friends back home in Texas. As former UW football coach Joe Tiller once said: “Laramie isn’t for everyone.”

The receiver position took a hit in the departures at least in terms of numbers. Redshirt freshmen C.J. Morgan and Kevin Robertson (another big target at 6-4) also won’t be back, and senior-to-be Jonathan Aiken was ruled academically ineligible. He redshirted last season to concentrate on academics. He showed flashes of promise in 2010.

Hard to miss guys that either haven’t played or not played enough to get a good gauge of what they can do. But just in terms of numbers, the depth of the receiving group got smaller.

UW has a verbal commitment from Trent Sewell, a three-star prospect by Rivals.com out of the state of Washington. He could help right away. And, one of its mid-year signees, Eric Nzeocha, is listed as a receiver. Nzeocha is the younger brother of sophomore-to-be linebacker Mark Nzeocha.

It also gives guys like sophomores-to-be Trey Norman and Sam Stratton and juniors-to-be Spencer Bruce and T.J. Smith chances to shine and prove themselves in spring ball and fall camp leading up to next season.

Another notable guy that left was quarterback Adam Pittser, who redshirted as a true freshman in the fall. Not a big surprise there. With Brett Smith being named the MW Freshman of the Year as a true freshman, Pittser probably wanted to go somewhere where he could play or compete for playing time sooner than later.

Not saying that is the right thing to do, but it’s common in this day and age. Hard to be a back-up at schools like Wyoming. Nothing against UW, but being a long way from home and the prospect of competing with a guy like Smith that got off to such a great start in his career is daunting for a young kid. Would Pittser have pushed Smith for the starting job next season? It would have taken a heckuva performance by Pittser to do that, but now we will never know. Perhaps the competition between the two would have made both better. And as most of you know that watch football, teams are one big hit away from going to a backup quarterback.

Again, tough to miss a guy that never played. Pittser was highly touted out of high school receiving high ratings by Rivals.com and Scout.com. But he will take his skills elsewhere.

By the way, the other signees besides Nzeocha UW added today are OL Connor Rains and punter Tim Gleeson. Rains is from America River JC in Sacramento, Calif., and Gleeson is from Australia.

Thoughts about the comings and goings at UW today?

21 thoughts on “Players come and players go for UW

  1. Speed kills, & skills to match. The loss of Doctson is huge & that can not be overstated. Not sure about Pittser, his passing ability appeared on paper to be equal or better than Smith. My fear is like yours RG, one injury away frm taking the reigns of the Cowboy O. Hope the staff is ready for this unsettling set of circumstances.

    • Coaches always sign at least one QB per class, but if there were any doubts of doing that this class they were erased with Pittser leaving. Wonder if they will go JC or HS. My guess HS with Kirkegaard back as a junior.

      RG

  2. After reading that Doctson, Pittser, Robertson are leaving, I think the climate effects the Texas kids. Always thought Wyo should recruit the cold weather states. Maybe DC will start to realize this in the furture. Some of Wyo best coaches in the past recruited this way–Teller, Roach Eaton, Devaney recruited Michigan, Chicago, Ohio, Minn and other areas where the climate would not be such a shock to new recruits. Sometimes coaches need to adjust if attrition becomes a problem, esp.. if kids from warm weather states keep leaving.

  3. Laramie is a s***hole town its not an easy place to live even for a wyoming native imagine Tx kids trying to adapt. How many have quit on DC this past two years? It would be pretty high. It happens in all sports though. Too bad B Smith could n’t convince them to stay. Maybe they need to recruit different if so many leave. Go the JUCO route they are less likely to quit. They are quitters and selfish. Wait til semester break in May more will leave.

      • Wait and see how spring ball goes. If they do well, perhaps that changes their mind. If they were set to do no matter what, go ahead and leave after the season. I get that.

        But for true freshmen who don’t go through an entire year, including offseason stuff, they often don’t give themselves a chance to succeed.

        RG

    • I’ve never understood this animosity towards Laramie. I had a blast there during my time at UW. Yeah, the weather can be tough, but coming from Cheyenne I wasn’t surprised. I spent my free time skiing, fishing, rock climbing and generally running around the Snowy Range and the Medicine Bow National Forest between Cheyenne and Laramie.

      O.K. Laramie might not be the most aestetic community on the planet, but I’ve been around and I’ve seen many places much crappier than the Gem City. Have you been to Starksville, MS? Now thats a craphole of a college town.

      I can understand a young player getting homesick and wanting to be with his family. But to put it all on Laramie isn’t valid.

  4. Look I get it. I been married to a girl from deep southeast Texas for 37 years. It’s true what they say you can take the girl out of Texas but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl. She’s been trying to get me to move down there for last ten years,but I’m still holding my ground. Dam near got bit by a 4 foot copperhead snake on in laws front porch last year. Haven’t seen one of them in Wyoming yet. Every place has it s*** holes 2 seasons.

  5. Laraimie is NOT a S***hole towon to live in! For you who posted that i like how brave you were to put your name to your post…………..perhaps YOU are Chicken S***t?? I would be more concerned if Our QB or Olineman had left. Like RG said its hard to miss guys that never saw the field. Doctson will be missed but he is replaceable. DC recruits alot of Recievers for a reason. Next year we have Mcniel(back), Herron, Stratton, Miller, Smith, Bruce and Rufran back who saw plenty of playing time. Add Sewell and a few other guys and the recieving corps will be fine in my opinion. Perhaps there will be a few JC recievers signed?? Who knows, this staff has seemed to find some guys late the past few years. GO POKES

  6. I moved to Laramie from Texas, played baseball at UW 1 yr & graduated in 4 yrs. I loved my time in Laramie & tried to find a decent job after graduation to no avail & ended up in Jackson for 4 yrs before returning to Texas & now have been in Denver for 31 yrs. I would loved to have stayed in Wyo, but it was all about a good paying job/opportunity. I knew several kids from Tx at the time football & BB players, most stayed & graduated, some are still in Wyo. It is the individual. Some kids just cannot leave home.

  7. Its cold 9 months out of the year and windy. I admire the players that tough it out. You just can’t have 10 or so players quit every year and still do good. Laramie is one of the coldest places to play football only the strong survive and make the best of it. Its still a college town there’s no reason they can’t enjoy it. Pittser leaving made sense Smith had the job already. Colorado players seem to stay they are used to winters and can handle it. There are just way too many leaving. Some will get some more gen ed classes done and leave in May. UW just seems to lose way more players than most schools. Hey Robert how many of last year signees quit its probably a lot.

    • From the 2011 recruiting class you have Doctson, Pittser and Robertson. A kid named London Muse, a WR, didn’t make it to Laramie after signing day due to academics. Four out of a class of 20-plus is pretty typical.

      RG

  8. I am not surprised about the departure of Pittser. I had wondered during the season as Smith really blossomed whether he would look for someplace with more opportunity to start in the near term. This is probably the year to go sign a really good QB prospect that after redshirting next fall should be ready to compete for the starting spot as a junior.

    I also worry about the number of players who contribute as true freshmen or sophamores only to head back south after a winter or two. This means we have to, once again rely on the discovery of another true freshman to be a clutch player in that position. It would be nice to see us replacing departing seniors rather than departing underclassmen.

    There might be more speed out of Texas and Southern California but there has to be some advantage to starting more juniors than freshman.

    Laramie isn’t for everyone. I was proud to attend UW and appreciated access to the ski slopes and the proximity to home (in Laramie County.) We have to admit that winter is long, summer is short and snow in May gets old. It was crazy to put the agricultural college in a town that has a growing season that is too short and cool to grow anything, so I do not think we can fault players that do give Laramie a try but then find out that it is just too small, harsh and inaccessable to handle for 5 years.

  9. It does n’t seem like they can get a full team to stay together. It showed this year with defensive players moved to offense. DC has the toughest D1 job around. I agree it would be hard to stay in L town for 4 or 5 winters if they are used to the heat. UW has overachieved in sports considering where its located, Laramie definitely is n’t the most desirable college town because of the weather. Its a good school though if they focused on a degree and got involved it might be better for them. It makes sense for walkons to leave or those not playing. Look at the center shyatt brought in he quit after a few months.

  10. I came to UW to play football after spending my whole life in Dallas, TX and loved every minute of it. I had the opportunity to play at other schools with a much more familiar climate and passed for a number of reasons. the outdoor activities offered in Wyo were attractive to me but thats definitely not what kept me in Laramie considering I never had enough free time to do much other than school and football. We had our share of kids that left but I think when they blame Laramie it is a lame excuse and most arent mature enough or tough enough to handle the demands of college football. I can tell you most guys that left during my time ended up regretting it and none that I can think of went on to have successful careers elsewhere. Coming from a warm climate and a big city does provide a bit of a culture shock when you get to Laramie but I think in the end the lifestyle change is what I appreciated most. I’m back in DFW now but would trade these miserable summers for a Wyo Winter anyday. Go Pokes! and I only want to win with the guys who can handle being away from Mom and can appreciate the opportunity they are given.

    • Good stuff, Tam. Great to hear from you and thanks for your interest and your post. Hope all is well.

      RG

  11. I think Doctson could’ve been all conf here with Smith. I bet a lot do regret it they may transfer and end up on a worse team or not even. It takes a lot longer to graduate to starting over somewhere els. I think college can be enjoyable anywhere its up to the person. See how ACS does next yr on a bad vanderbilt team if he even plays.

  12. I think the guy was out of line calling Laramie a s— hole. I love Laramie, just bought a home so we can be there for all the sports programs and the people there are great. I think it is too easy for athletes to get out of their scholarships. When you sign your name you on the scholarship you should HONOR it. Most times when you sign your name on a lease or whatever you have t abide by it. To me it sounds like these young me are not mature enough yet to cut the aprons strings. GO POKES

  13. Get Real Cowboys! People stay in programs where they are treated with respect. Look in the mirror, look at your coaching leadership, Guess what, athletes leave programs when they’re not playing! Starters don’t leave just because they miss Mommy! Good luck in an insignificant conference, you are where you belong.

    • Get Real you are true coward and an uniformed moron. Starters and those playing significant roles on teams transfer every year. Have you been been reading about the transfers going on in the B10, SEC, BYU. The “insignificant conference” comment was both childish and idiotic.

  14. When I transferred to Colorado in 1994, I thought I’d never look back. 3 years in Laramie was brutal, or so it seemed. But once you hang around ‘Greenies’ and other folks from around the country, you don’t realize how hospitable and loyal Wyoming people are and the peace and serenity of the high plains.

    When I lived in Denver, I would road trip to WYO games. Some of my friends came along, and their whole perception of Laramie being just a simple ‘hick’ town were totally proven wrong. ‘Big J’ still talks about the Air Force game in 1999 and the Lobos game too. STILL.

    It’s unfortunate that some players bail out before they experience the true nature of Wyoming, Laramie and the people of our great state. But for those who stick around, they will be thankful they did in the long run.

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