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?