Former Wyoming football player Oscar Nevermann is now playing for North Dakota, and ironically, those two teams open the season at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.
Nevermann, who is from Sweden and a junior at UND, came to UW as a running back and was moved to linebacker before he left.
Normally when a player transfers from an FBS school, like UW, to a FCS school, like North Dakota, they can play right away without having to sit out a year. But that’s not the case for Nevermann.
UW coach Craig Bohl and UW sports information director Tim Harkins both said Tuesday that UW athletics has a policy that states if a player transfers to a school that’s on the Cowboys’ schedule the following season, that player must sit out a year.
“That’s standard procedure, and it wasn’t any decision I made,” Bohl said.
Tom Miller, who covers North Dakota football for the Grand Forks Herald, told me via email that Nevermann was in fall camp for UND, and “looked pretty good at running back.” Miller also said that UND folks feel Bohl is being difficult because of the North Dakota-North Dakota State rivalry. As most of you know, Bohl coached at North Dakota State for 11 years from 2003-13 before coming to UW. However, UND and NDSU only played once when Bohl was the NDSU coach, and that was in 2003. North Dakota State made the move from Division II to Division I-AA. North Dakota waited a few years before it made the switch.
I will have a Q&A with Miller later this week about the UW-UND game.
Here a few notes from Tuesday’s practice:
–The Cowboys practiced in War Memorial Stadium late in the afternoon. The players were in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts.
–Bohl said junior punter Ethan Wood will also handle kickoffs.
–True freshman walk-on kicker Tristan Bailey got in some extra point work early in practice, and was very accurate.
–Sophomore cornerback Robert Priester has changed his jersey number from 35 to 2. Redshirt defensive tackle Conner Cain switched from No. 70 to 87. Expect a jersey change for either redshirt freshman walk-on free safety Marcus Epps or redshirt freshman running back Nico Evans. Both wear No. 22, but both could be on the same special teams units this season. However, Evans won’t be on the field for the first two games as he serves a suspension for a violation of team rules.
–UW remains healthy heading into its opener. I asked Bohl if that’s a sign of the team’s conditioning after battling a lot of pulled hamstrings and other minor injuries during camp. His response: “We appreciate our conditioning, but I will also say in 34 years of coaching, come game week (all the players) go see the wizard. All of a sudden during that week, all the bumps and bruises are gone and they’re ready to go. I’m sure there’s some psychology involved there.”
–A scout from the Philadelphia Eagles was at practice.
–Speaking of the NFL, former UW wide receiver Robert Herron was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sad to see that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he lands with another team, or comes back to Tampa Bay on its practice squad. Although more cuts are coming, as of now there are seven former UW players on NFL rosters: wide receiver Malcom Floyd (San Diego), safety Tashaun Gipson (Cleveland), defensive back Marqueston Huff (Tennessee), linebacker Mark Nzeocha (Dallas), safety Chris Prosinski (Philadelphia), defensive tackle Mike Purcell (San Francisco) and defensive tackle Mitch Unrein (San Diego).
See Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net for my story on junior linebacker D.J. May. No, it’s not about his move from running back to linebacker, but how he approaches coming off back-to-back years with serious injuries. For a preview, here is the video interview I did with May.