Thornton gives his take on UW’s quarterbacks this spring

Wyoming junior Tom Thornton ended last season as the Cowboys’ backup quarterback.

Prior to the start of spring drills, Thornton was one of six scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. With a logjam there, UW moved him to wide receiver.

Tom Thornton

Tom Thornton

Thornton’s transition to receiver is still a work in progress, but he’s happy with the move. For more on that, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to

Earlier this week, I asked Thornton what he thought of the play of UW’s four quarterbacks this spring: senior Cameron Coffman, sophomore and junior college transfer Josh Allen, redshirt freshman Nick Smith and redshirt sophomore Aaron Young.

Coffman was named the starter earlier in spring drills. Allen is currently listed as the backup, followed by Smith and Young.

“I think they’re doing a great job. Going form last year to now, you can see their knowledge of the offense has improved.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

“Cam has looked fantastic. His accuracy is on point. His reads are on point. I think he’s goin to have an unbelievable year. Josh is doing well, but is the newest guy. He has an unbelievable arm. He needs to know when to tone it down a little bit. He threw a screen pass bout 90 miles an hour. He’s starting to pick up the offense. Nick’s is doing a solid job and Aaron is as well.”

Thornton also said that losing redshirt freshman Austin Fort “kind of sucks.” Fort was moved from quarterback to tight end last week. Soon after that, UW announced Fort will transfer.

One of the more interesting drills UW does with its receivers is having them catch footballs from a jugs machine. I asked a UW student manager who feeds footballs into the machine how fast they are going. He wasn’t sure, but he said the machine is cranked up “pretty good.”

Here’s Thornton’s take on that.

“The ball is hauling,” he said. “It’s funny to see a non-receiver try to catch the ball. They don’t even get their hands up quick enough. (UW receivers coach Kenni Burns) cranks that up. That thing comes humming. The ball has a little duck in it so it’s not a pefect spiral. You have to see it in. Playing quarterback I’ve always felt I had pretty good hands, but the jugs machine is taking that to another level.”

Here is a video from Wednesday’s practice of UW tight ends and receivers trying to catch some passes from the jugs machine:

UW’s spring game is at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. If you can’t make it to the game, join me for my live chat from it starting at 2 p.m. Links to the chat will be at and at this blog.