One week down, four to go.
Wyoming completed its first week of spring football practice Saturday in War Memorial Stadium. Saturday’s practice marked the first one in full pads.
Here’s what fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl said after practice:
Media members are allowed to watch the first 30 minutes of each practice, so there isn’t a ton of specific information I can provide, but here are some of the things that stood out to me after the first week:
— A lot of people ask me who made the most gains weight-wise from the end of last season until now. UW’s spring roster lists weights from last season. But I can tell you that junior offensive tackle Zach Wallace, who played at 297 last season, is up to around 310 this spring. All of UW’s tight ends did well in the weight room. I hardly recognized junior Josh Harshman when I went to the first practice. He looks a lot thicker, and I’ve been told he is around 235-237 pounds. He was in the 220s last season. Also, junior safety Marcus Epps looks a lot thicker.
— UW running backs coach Mike Bath told me Saturday that all of his running back showed some good things in the first three spring practices. He’s pleased how redshirt sophomore Kellen Overstreet has looked after missing last season with shoulder and knee injuries. However, junior Nico Evans and sophomore Milo Hall have been consistent so far this spring, Bath said.
— If you watched/listened to Bohl’s video interview from Saturday, you heard him mention that the move of sophomore Gavin Rush from guard to center remains a work in progress. Bohl said there are too many poor snaps for his liking. There is still a long way to go, but if that keeps up this spring, don’t be surprised if junior Cole Turner gets a hard look, either this spring or in fall camp. Turner and redshirt freshman Jace Webb are in a good competition at the left guard spot vacated by Rush.
— Sophomore walk-on quarterback Nick Szpor was the holder for UW last season on extra points and field goals, and will continue those duties. But this spring he’s UW’s punter until the guy they signed — true freshman Tim Zaleski — comes in this summer. When asked about how Szpor is doing, Bohl said it’s similar to his golf game — or at least his game at the driving range — saying Szpor will hit a couple of good ones, then hit some not-so-good. I’ve seen Szpor punt in practice, and he’s unleashed a few good ones. His delivery is slow, but I think he’s giving UW the look it needs this spring.
— In talking to some of the defensive assistant coaches, sounds like UW will move its safeties around more this season, and mix them up in run and pass coverage. Junior all-conference safety Andrew Wingard is taking reps at both strong and free safety (he’s played mostly free safety at UW). Don’t be surprised if junior Marcus Epps also gets some looks at both.
— Even though he’s out this spring recovering from knee surgery, junior defensive end Carl Granderson looks good. He’s around 240 pounds, but looks thicker. He told me he got down to under 210 pounds after his surgery last October.
There will be lots of UW spring football stories next week in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also online at wyosports.net. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here or send them to me on Twitter: @rpgagliardi.