VIDEO INTERVIEWS FROM SUNDAY’S SCRIMMAGE
DAVE CHRISTENSEN: http://youtu.be/nwMkzrSv11Q
TRYAN FINLEY: http://youtu.be/lsgnmSirUHU
Want another Wyoming wide receiver to talk about?
How about senior Jarrod Darden.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior who transferred from Colorado but is eligible this season
because he graduated from CU in the spring, caught three passes for 95 yards and a touchdown working with the No. 2 offense during Sunday’s first scrimmage of fall camp.
His TD catch was 46 yards, and he had a nice one-handed catch for 40 yards later on. All of his catches came from sophomore backup quarterback Jason Thompson.
“They have me in the slot, which I haven’t played before, and this is a new kind of offense for me,” Darden said. “I played in more of a pro-style offense at Colorado, but I like this offense a lot.”
Darden said he transferred from Colorado because he went through three coaching changes in four years, and he was simply “tired of it.”
Darden said he looked for schools that threw the ball a lot, and UW fit the description.
“At Colorado I was burried on the depth chart and a new coach was coming in. I wanted to go a school that wanted me and could use me. Right now I feel like I can contribute. If I keep making plays, hopefully they can use me.
“This is the best I felt during camp in a while. I am getting feedback and reps. I will enjoy this day, but our first two-a-days are Monday so I can’t enjoy it for long before it is time to get back to work.”
Top 8 WR
Fifteen different players caught at least one pass in the scrimmage,and 12 were wide receivers.
If I had to rank the top eight receivers on the team right now, and this group can change daily, I would go with: senior Robert Herron, juniors Dominic Rufran, Jalen Claiborne and Trey Norman, redshirt freshman Nico Brown, junior Keenan Montgomery, Darden and redshirt freshman Eric Nzeocha.
What do you guys think? I think 10 to 12 different wide receivers will catch passes for this team this season.
Finley fun to watch
Junior cornerback Tyran Finley, a junior-college transfer who arrived earlier this summer, made a good first impression during the scrimmage.’
He returned a Brett Smith interception 27 yards for a touchdown, and also looked good
returning punts prior to the scrimmage.
“It was a great play by Tyran and make a great break on the ball,” Christensen said “He’s an explosie player, and we knew that when we recruited him.”
Finley played cornerback with the No. 1 defense after junior Blair Burns was injured during a punt return after he was thrown to the ground by redshirt freshman linebacker Lucas Wacha. The injury does not appear to be serious, but Christensen said Burns could be out for a couple of days.
Late in the scrimmage, UW’s other starting cornerback — junior DeAndre Jones — limped off the field and didn’t return. True freshman Timmy Hayes replaced Jones, whose injury also did not appear to be serious. However, the next couple of practices could give Finley and Hayes more time with the No. 1 defense.
Burns’ injury also should give Finley more reps as a punt returner, something he is excited about.
“I think that comes natural to me,” he said. “Once you get the ball you don’t want anyone to touch you, like back in kindergarten.”
Five UW quarterbacks were a combined 47-of-64 for 632 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception.
Sophomore backup Jason Thompson was especially sharp as he was 18-of-22 for 281 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He took all the snaps with the No. 2 offense, and a times, gave the No. 1 defense fits.
“Jason has made as much improvement as any player in the program,” Christensen said. “It was a tough situation, and maybe unfair to play him (last season) as a true freshman. The training he has received from (first-year quarterbacks coach Jason Gesser) the last six months has been great. I feel good about where he’s at.”
Thompson is a solid No. 2 right now, but in a perfect world Thompson won’t have to play this year and will redshirt. We shall see if that works out.
Junior place-kicker Stuart Williams made a 55-yard field goal in the scrimmage, and his only miss on five attempts was another shot at 55 yards that had the distance but went wide-right.
“Stu has been as consistent as any guy in our program,” Christensen said. “I don’t remember him missing this camp.”
The 55-yard miss is believed to be Williams’ first missed field goal in the first six days of practice during fall camp. Williams said he feels good from about 57 yard and in right now.
Not sure to think that UW’s offense will be that much better or the defense will continue to struggle after this first scrimmage. It is tough to gauge when a team goes against each other all the time. At this point, it might be a combination of both factors. But eight defensive linemen and linebackers were out with injury, who would have at least helped keep some of the other guys fresh. … I thought sophomore running back Shaun Wick had a good day. Ran for 60 yards on five carries and caught three passes for 45 yards, with a long of 36. Would like to see senior Brandon Miller and true freshman Omar Stover get back in the mix. Both missed the scrimmage with minor injuries. Still, Wick’s play was encouraging. Freshman walk-on Oscar Nevermann from Sweden may not see the field this season, but he played hard today with a team-best 62 yards. True freshman Joshua Tapscott also ran hard with 49 yards. Nevermann and Tapscott didn’t lose any yards on any of their combined 21 carries. … Junior-college center Albert Perez seems to be adapting well to being the starter, but UW had issues with its backups on a handful of shotgun snaps. … Christensen said the team might use a couple of different punters this season, and is still working on getting the right schemes put in. Freshman walk-on Ethan Wood averaged 44.3 yards on his three punts — all rugby-style. A lot of work remains to be done there.
For more on the scrimmage, see Monday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and log on to wyosports.net.