UW fall camp – Day 17

Special teams took center stage during Wyoming’s 21st practice and 17th day of fall camp Wednesday morning in cool and breezy conditions at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

UW worked on things such as field-goal return, punting out of the end zone and kickoffs during the portion of practice the media was allowed to watch. First-year coach Craig Bohl also said the team worked on other special situations like when to take a safety and onside kicks.

One might ask about field-goal return? Remember the Alabama-Auburn game last year where Auburn returned a missed field goal for a touchdown to win the game?

Here is what Bohl said after Wednesday’s practice:

Bohl during one of North Dakota State’s three consecutive FCS national title games, Sam Houston State had a returner back in case of a missed field goal.

Blair Burns

Blair Burns

Senior cornerback Blair Burns was the return man for UW during that period. During the punt drill, where the Cowboys punted out of their own end zone, senior receiver Jalen Claiborne was the return man.

Speaking of punting, Bohl said sophomore punter Ethan Wood will return to Laramie Wednesday night. Wood’s parents were killed in a plane crash on Aug. 9, and the funeral was last Friday.

At the end of practice, Bohl said the team had some fun and had a few of the offensive and defensive linemen try to field onside kicks. Sophomore nose tackle Chase Appleby, the media was told, showed some good hands.

Prior to practice, Bohl watched senior Stuart Williams and true freshman walk-on Pierce Royster kick field goals at numerous distances and angles. I did not see all of the kicks,

Stuart Williams

Stuart Williams

but I saw Williams make 6 of 7, and Royster made 4 of 7. Most of Royster’s missed were from long distances.

Bohl was asked how he felt about the depth at the two safety positions behind seniors Darren White (free) and Jesse Sampson (strong). “We are concerned about our depth there. We will continue to look at different combinations.”

Sophomore Xavier Lewis (free) and redshirt freshman Tim Kanmana (strong) were listed as backups prior to fall camp. True freshman Chavez Pownell Jr. also has put himself in the mix for possible playing time.

Former UW football coach and athletics director Paul Roach was at practice.

No players and assistant coaches would be available for interviews after Wednesday’s practice.

Sophomore receiver Tanner Simpson did not participate in practice, nor did true freshman tight end Tyree Mayfield (shoulder). Simpson said he has a bursa sack issue with his knee earlier this week.

Simpson was awarded a scholarship by Bohl last week. See Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net for more on that story.

Here are a couple of quick videos during some drill work: