Durbin to play senior season at Iowa State

Wyoming’s defensive got thinner, at least figuratively, as defensive end Ben Durbin will play his senior season at Iowa State.

Durbin graduated from UW with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and NCAA rules allow student-athletes to transfer to other schools and play right away if they’ve received their bachelor’s and choose to pursue a higher degree elsewhere.

A story on Cyclones.com was published Wednesday, and UW media relations director Tim Harkins confirmed that Durbin wouldn’t return to the Cowboys. Durbin is from Gilbert, Iowa.

“I wanted to play for Cyclone Nation,” Durbin told Cyclones.com. “I can play in front of my family. This is God’s Country to me and I have always been an Iowa State fan. … Laramie is a great place. This is not about Wyoming. … Coming home is a dream.”

Durbin was recruited by Mike Breske, the defensive coordinator when Joe Glenn was UW’s coach at UW from 2003-08. He was recruited as a linebacker, but two years ago moved to defensive tackle. Durbin played defensive end in the spring and was slated as a starter after spring drills.

Durbin had 28 tackles and 3.5 for loss last season, and 16 tackles in 2010.

According to UW’s post-spring depth chart, senior Miraldo Michel and junior Jeff Roueche are Durbin’s backups. On the other side there is highly-touted redshirt freshman Eddie Yarbrough, who is the backup to projected starter Sonny Puletasi — a sophomore.

Junior-college transfer Justin Bernthaler could get a chance to help right away. He doesn’t arrive until fall camp, but he was rated as the second-best junior-college weakside defensive end in the nation by JCGridiron.com, and the 58th-best junior-college recruit in California by 247Sports.com.


33 thoughts on “Durbin to play senior season at Iowa State

  1. Sorry to see him leave. He leaves as a starting defensive end. I wonder if he researched that position at Iowa State. They have a 6’7″ player called by some as the “future of the program.” You wonder how much a former starter will play at the new school?

    • Makes you wonder. Sounds like he just wants to be closer to home and play for the school he dreamed of as a kid.


  2. If a guy doesn’t want to play for the Pokes, then let him go. We need players that are loyal and will give 110 percent. GO WYO!

    • In all fairness, we are talking about graduate school here. How many NFL draft picks come out of UW each year. Depending on the program, I would think that is would make a great deal of sense to go to Grad school at a different institution, especially when it is a bigger university that places more emphasis on grad-level research than U.W.

  3. This is a blow, although Yarborough if as advertised- will make an impact. Big 12 is probably a step up and the possibility of a local program is understandable. What does suck is the fact he’s earned his degree here, and pretty much ditches his team mates and staff. Later Ben.

  4. I lived in Cedar Rapid, Iowa for 5 years. There is a Hawkeye nation but not much of a windy nation.. If you ween’t good enough to be a hawk you went to the Windy college and got beat up by Nebraska, even Kansas beat the the big wind school. With that kind of thinking how could this young man get a degree at Pokeville. A full investigation of the academics at Wyoming are now in order. LOL Hope he does well Every kid should live his dream Football is not the end all. Ps Robert, since you are not much of a Joe Glenn fan I am sure you don’t view this as a loss

    • Why do you say I’m not a Joe Glenn fan? I like Glenn ans he did some good things at UW. He just didn’t do enough winning.


  5. Robert fair question. Your paper told me “I don’t believe he is a good fit for D! football” That doesn’t mean you personally weren’t a fan. But you do represent the paper And we are talking Poke football not the person Hammond on the other hand use to talk more about the people so I knew he how he saw Glenn and what he separtely thought the program needed. Anyway I apologize, as my commemt was possibly not well balanced. Your paper also predicted that with in three years Glenn would only be a memory. Good prediction as most all coaches end up memories. He’ll be the guy that beat the PAC, SEC three times and the ACC. & of course expressed our feeling about the Utes so graphically. Also the guy that lost “a lot ” in conference, in what was a ever improving MW with three high caliber teams Fortunately now the conference is as Tom B says “more balanced.”. We far away fans will be looking to you to give us the insight on the Pokes now that the we have lost the Mtn. I do appreciate you take and coverage of Poke ball.

    • You are right about all that. Always appreciate your insight and opinions.


  6. Why Sugar Coat it? Durbin leaving is a dagger for our struggling team. We need some toughness and experience and Durbin turned his nose at us. Best of luck getting your tail whipped each week. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way to Iowa.

  7. The only thing that is unusual about Durbin leaving is that he went through the motions of spring FB and took away from someone else that could use that valuable time (i.e. think the Brett Smith example). Unless I’m way off, the guy was given a scholarship (not sure if a full or partial, does that include tuition, room & board?) of some kind and GRADUATED in 4 years as a student athlete. Durbin paid his part of the bargain and UW got his services. Contract done, move on.

    If Durbin was a Joe Glenn recruit, then arguably he was more of the DII mold as Glenn knew how to find DII talent, but I would argue Glenn didn’t have the eye for D1 FB talent. Its funny, I watched the Mtn recording of Utah-UW game from 2006 and the Pokes really whipped them. In 2006 the Pokes ended up 6-6, snubbed for a Bowl game and were really a few plays away from a stellar season… Had things gone better, I wonder if Glenn would have still been here? The previous poster (who kinda criticized you, Robert for your Glenn reporting) missed the key point about Joe Glenn… Yes Glenn won some games against tough competition, he could motivate and get great effort for one or two games a season (as a number of DII coaches can motivate their squads to pull the upset over a D1 school and then have mediocre seasons). Yes, Joe Glenn was extremely popular and was a good fit for UW. But No, Joe Glenn didn’t win enough in-conference and overall…

  8. Just a word or 2 on Ben Durbin….the young man could not get what he wanted at UW as far as a grad program, he can at Iowa St. His love for football goes with him. I know him personally and his family(we met in Laramie his fr. yr) His mother and father made every game in Laramie, even his redshirt yr. when he didn’t suit up, driving all the way from Gilbert, they made a few away games as well. Talk about support for their son and Cowboy football. How many Wyo fans make it to 1 game a yr? Now this is just me talking….how many ball players have left the program since DC has been the coach(even his own recruits and good ones, Pfister comes to mind)? Rumor has it, DC is unapproachable, shows favortism and is very arrogant( you can tell that by his demeanor on the sideline). When we start criticizing, maybe we should look at the leadership or lack of.I am from Wyoming and this is my 46th season of going to the ball games, I grad. in ’71 and could have given up a long time ago if I based it on win/loss. Hopefully I’ll outlast the next couple of coaches…..DC won’t be there much longer, after a few more wins, he’ll pack his bags too and will have used UW as a stepping stone like all the others worth a hoot…..Ben is just beating DC to it and good for him !

    • Give me a break. You are either a Cowboy fan or a Critic of the program. This criticism is the kind of a BYU junkie. Your words are neither acceptable, nor the flavor of Brown and Gold. My old man, whom coached Wyo a few decades ago in the most heralded of times, then shortly after that- the toughest of times. He used to remark that there are two kinds of Coaches, those who have been fired and those waiting to be canned. Merely human, trying to aspire with young men to build a tradition and a desire to become the best they can be personally and collectively. DC and Joe are no different, doing the best job they can in a tough, competitive environment in a special place on a budget that pales with the big boys. Where there is a vision, the team will prosper. Go Pokes! I think Christensen has the will and the ability to build the vision.

    • It is a fact that Christensen is harder on his players than Glenn ever was. He has a different demeanor and does not bend over backward to put a smile on every donors face. I hope Robert that you have the opportunity to meet Dave as I have and see him for the man he is. We should be glad that Burman and Co. stepped up and offered him a competitive salary to keep him here. Christensen and his family enjoy Laramie but there needs to be a resonable salary that correlates with the FBS and his success in order to keep him here (or else he should leave).

  9. Timmy my boy….where did that nonsense come from…”a BYU junkie”? Apparently your “old man” didn’t teach you anything about “Cowboy fans”. You are probably too young or stupid to remember over 40 yrs of Cowboy football. I don’t remember a head coach being there 2 times, must have been an asst., which would explain your outbursts and frustration. What was he, “fired or waited to be canned”? By the way Timmy…… where is YOUR brick in the Legacy Wall? Check it out #717……fan or critic? 🙂 all the way!

    • Don’t cloud your vision with too much hostility. I could care less about what you think, don’t need a brick in the wall, I am the wall. How does the Sugar Bowl sound, yea the old man coached with Lloyd Eaton. Then yes, we beat the Sun Devils in what may have been one of the greatest upsets in Cowboy Football lore. Pops stayed on, with Shurmurs staff, then was an Associate AD. I’m a graduate of UW, so I bleed Brown and Gold, grew up in Laramie and being a Cowboy is part of my nature. Christensen has my backing 100%. We don’t need whiners on this program. You and Ben can go to Iowa State, together. So, don’t talk smack…if you can’t back it up- and keep the smiling faces off the board, thats weak.

      • Timmy….where’s the hostility coming from? Sounds like you’re threatening me. You’re “the wall” ? :):):):)

  10. Hey Robby, Either your too old to see what was written or just not smart enough to read it. Tim didn’t say there was a head coach that had been there 2 times, he said there were two KINDS of coaches, “those who have been fired and those waiting to be fired.” Are your sure brick 717 says what you think it does? Also true fans don’t try to spread rumors about the head coaches. Kind of amazing you’re questioning leadership after 2 bowl games in 3 years and is bringing in the D1 talent our last two head coaches could only dream of.

  11. “Most herald of times and then shortly after that the toughest of times”, sounds like 2 times to me. Must have been a hold over and yes, I can read and understand the 2 types of coaches, but you forgot one. Those that move on comes to mind, Akers, Dye, and Tiller. How quickly you forget. I love the way you guys beat your chest as if you been there all these yrs. and have never said a bad word about coaching. Loan me those rose colored glasses. What do you think the brick says? AND where’s your’s? Rumors? Don’t shoot the messenger, look at the truth….top recruits are leaving the program. Why? Good debate Matt and Timmy…..but no cigars.

    • Only 1 thing left to say Mr. Orman, that is hasta la vista. Look it up old timer, then go stare at your brick, cause nobody else is. Go Pokes.

  12. Matt, Timmy and Robert…..you guys kill me. All three seem to be quibbling over the same issue, being a “Cowboy fan.” You could all meet at the Buckhorn 1st game and put it to rest.

    • Fired, to be canned… yes I can read. You forgot one or should I say three…. Akers, Dye and “take a safety” Joe Tiller(WAC championship game when the Pokes had BYU beat and lost because of the safety…gave them the ball back and they kicked a short field goal to tie and went on to win in OT…..were you there?) DC, 1-1 in Bowl games, got lucky on the 1st one and embarassed in the other. Were you at those? I was at both, in fact have been to every Bowl game except one since the Sugar Bowl and went to that one too. You question my fanship? Relax, breath deep the gathering gloom……. Matt, where’s your brick? Rumors ? Don’t think so…. truth is, look at his own recruits leaving, something is wrong, have been too many. Loan me those rose colored glasses and pass the pipe.

      • Hey Rob,
        I support UW athletics in Cowboy Joe and the W-club. I played for coach Roach in the eighties and we lost on average 3 or 4 scholarship athletes a year plus a few key players for various reasons, not related to graduation or injury, but was Coach Roach or his staff rumored to be unapproachable or arrogant? The difference between then and now was the number of media outlets monitoring the comings and goings of athletes. You are right there are three types not just two. You mention Tiller, he didn’t move on he wasn’t offered a contract extension so he went to Purdue. Let me say he was the most honest upfront coach I ever played for. I heard all the BS about how Coach Tiller wasn’t warm and cuddly to the booster club but as coach we all knew, everyday, good or bad exactly where we stood with him. If you couldn’t handle it you left, this is where I see DC right now.
        Sure I’ve had my issues with coaches my years playing and watching the Pokes, my comment was about being honest and up front about your opinions not rumors.
        It is pretty cool to see the passion of the Poke faithful and for that Robert thanks for the conversation.

        • Matt…..thanks, didn’t mean to rile everyone’s feathers up there. Coach Roach and Tiller were probably the best the Pokes have had, Eaton just had a bad hand dealt to him. I appreciate the explanation of someone that actually played for the Cowboys, not someone shooting from the hip. (even if he is the coaches son) We as alum see the outside and we definitely have our opinions. A lot of money has been spent over the yrs. on donations, tickets, travel etc. by the folks, going to the games. I think we have a right to voice displeasure in our Univ., it’s profs, AD, coaches or whovever, when things don’t seem to be right. An old Sugar Bowl player, #31 says the same (as you referred to) that players leave and for various reasons. With DC, there just seems to be a higher amount of quality guys doing the same. My question was why? Your comments are well received, thanks again. No more clouded vision…….Timmy.

  13. Robert, I’m proud of YOU!! Wyoming sports writer of the year. 28 soon to be 29 hits WOW!! You have shown us the difference between young POKE fans and old fans. Orman missed on Eaton. He couldn’t or wouldn’t change with the times. But he was right on about Tiller.The young turks will find that they are blinded with passion and will walk into that wall they are all talking about.. But they are dead wrong on DC If, (and that is still a big if), DC wins the next two years in the “WELL BALANCED ” conference he is history Like your paper says a memory in three years. Thing is he is the right coach for now. He brings an offensive scheme that a pokeville can recruit to and win. (Tiller and his predcessor). Burman told us he would recruit top candidates that might leave for bigger things. Its a risk but it is the RISK risk. go Pokes

  14. I’ve been reading an awful lot on who’s the “right” Coach. I can offer no insight as to the “why” a kid is leaving but having a 19 year old son, that is playing ball right now as a walk on at a D2 school- I can say that today’s young men are passionate about the cause, but they are short sighted. Kind of an entitlement mentality and some of the boys just don’t understand the sacrifices that are sometimes necessary to become a part of a Team, that in the past sort of was an understanding that went without mention. Some of the comments offered are that kids leave because of the Coach, what I sense is a selfishness that potentially can put a kid outside of the program, because of false expectations. Talent is one thing, but commitment and consideration for the cause is quite another. It seems like the tougher the Coach, the further a kid can fall from graces and that can cause a discontentment and a turning from pure purpose. My sense is Tiller, Roach, Eaton and DC are among the best the Cowboys have had. Granted its still early on DC, but I like what I see. If a couple kids don’t deliver, well that can be expected. But that should not change the direction or support for our program. I’m hoping for great things, in time with both DC and Shyatt. They seem to have pretty good command of the blueprint for “how” to develop the right stuff with today’s student/athlete, which really has been left out of focus a bit. I like the passion expressed, and there seems to be encouragement for a winning formula, however that is emphasized. Hope this isn’t too philosophical.

  15. Graduated from UW in 95. Had the pleasure of being in Laramie during Tiller’s years. Tiller’s teams were fun to watch (WACKY WAC). Every game was a shoot out. Offense was mandatory, defense optional. Great to watch. The two best receivers came from this era. Was at many a barn party with the team. Things were definitely looser back then. No hotels in Laramie for team night before game. Win or lose barn party happened in west Laramie. Tiller had great near upset in Lincoln in 94. Incredible game but no win. As soon as Tiller had great year he fled. Can’t say I blame him unfortunately. As in any job, if offered higher paying, higher profile position most will jump at it. Our best chance for success is to embrace a young assistant coach from a good program who needs D1 experience to build resume with understanding that with wins they will flee (christiansen) or coach who is proven who is looking to finish career who wants to wind down and enjoy all that Wyoming has to offer (Shyatt)

    • Good stuff Shawn, especially the barn partys in west Laramie. Spent lots of time there when I was at UW.


  16. The real misconception is that Tiller left for a better job. He did not. He left because the administration in place at the time would not give him more money & an extended contract. He was purported to have said he would stay for less than Purdue was offering. He had one good year and a couple of mediocre years. The individuals in the know told me that about half of the prominent boosters liked him & half did not. They felt if they gave him more money & a longer contract & he had another off year they would be skewered. That is the real reason he left for Purdue.

    As far as DC, he is the right coach for the right time. Maybe he leaves, maybe not. $1.5MM goes a long way in Laramie, especially if you are winning. Maybe we get lucky & he thinks like Peterson at Boise St. & likes where he is. If he builds a stable, quality program & decides to leave, hopefully there is an assistant in place that wants the job. Peterson replaced Hawkins at BSU & the results speak for themselves!

    Going forward the MW will be fine & hopefully the Pokes can contend for titles again. If so the program will sell itself, both locally & on the national stage.

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