Wyoming’s fall sports media day was held Monday afternoon at the Wildcatter Club & Suites atop Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.
Coaches from football, cross-country, women’s soccer and volleyball spoke to a large crowd of media and fans. Later, football players were made available in the indoor practice facility due to thunderstorms outside.
First-year football coach Craig Bohl was the guy most came to listen to, and he didn’t disappoint. Although he knows the challenges ahead, it was hard to leave there not feeling good about this team and the future of UW football.
Bohl has talked a lot about being “Cowboy Tough” and bringing that back to the program. He spoke about that Monday, but said it’s time to show that on the field.
He said that barring anything out of the ordinary, redshirt senior Colby Kirkegaard will start at quarterback when the Cowboys host Montana in the opener on Aug. 30. Bohl said that two weeks ago at Mountain West Football Media Day as well. Not a big surprise, but don’t expect others in the mix to not fight to be the starter, or for playing time. For more on that, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.
A few other observations:
–True freshman defensive lineman John Jackson said he “passed out” during Monday morning’s first practice of fall camp. Nothing serious, but he said it was a hard day.
–Was really impressed talking with true freshman quarterback Nick Smith from Florida. Don’t be surprised if he moves up the depth chart as fall camp progresses.
–UW’s three true freshmen defensive backs from Florida — safeties C.J. Jennings and Chavez Pownell Jr. and cornerback Robert Priester are a confident group that they can play this season. They are not cocky, but confident. But if they play, they will need to make an impact on special teams first, said defensive coordinator Steve Stanard. More on those three later this week.
–Stanard also said one of the biggest priorities in fall camp is to find depth at defensive tackle behind senior Patrick Mertens. The defensive tackle plays a big role in this 4-3 scheme (not that others don’t). Redshirt junior Troy Boyland and redshirt freshman Dalton Fields will get looks, as will true freshman John Jackson (despite being listed as a defensive end) and Sidney Malauulu. Stanard said Malauulu also could get a look at nose tackle.
–UW’s three true freshmen tight ends look good in uniform. I like the size of Brinkley Jolley and Tyree Mayfield. But Grant Lewis, at 6-5, 225 out of Memphis, got a few snaps with the No. 1 offense during a walk-through early in Monday’s practice.
–Senior kicker Stuart Williams said that kickers are not officially part of fall camp right now so coaches can get a look at other players early in camp. Williams said he is kicking on his own and was at media day. It appears UW won’t get into a lot of work in the kicking game until later in camp.
–Daniel Vega, a true freshman defensive tackle from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, left UW in the summer. According to Twitter, he will walk-on at Iowa next season.
–Walk-on left offensive tackle Brayton Medina is no longer with the team. He was listed as the backup behind sophomore Nathan Leddige. When asked who will fill Medina’s spot, offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said it is more about finding seven or eight best offensive linemen no matter their positions and fill in the spots from there.
–Senior middle linebacker Jordan Stanton and his younger brother, Joshua, a true freshman defensive end, are on the same
football field for the first time since high school back in California — about five years. Jordan said when he was a senior his brother was a freshman and they played some together. Not sure how much they will play together this season, but it is special for both of them. Plus, they both look a lot a like and have similar haircuts. It also is odd that Jordan wears jersey No. 1 and Joshua wears No. 99.
–The Cowboys practice once on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in shorts and helmets.