Wyoming is through two weeks and six practices of spring football. Three more weeks and nine practices to go.
Through the first two weeks, there hasn’t been any earth-shattering news. Perhaps the most significant can this past Thursday when junior safety Andrew Wingard broke his left hand making a tackle during a scrimmage period. Wingard, who will alternate this spring between free and strong safety, will miss the rest of spring. However, the injury won’t require surgery and he should fine for summer workouts and fall camp in August.
Wingard joked that he is like a graduate assistant now as he watches the rest of spring, and also helps two young UW safeties — sophomore Alijah Halliburton and redshirt freshman Josh Boyd.
Here is fourth-year UW football coach Craig Bohl after practice on Saturday, April 1.
As stated before, media is allowed to watch the first 30 minutes of each practice and there isn’t a lot during that time period to see or report on. Bohl was kind enough to allow the media to watch all of practice No. 5 on Thursday.
Here are a few observations and thoughts from that practice and over the first two weeks of spring drills:
— I’m not really sure who will be the No. 1 running back for UW this fall. In what little I’ve seen, junior Nico Evans, redshirt sophomore Kellen Overstreet and sophomore Milo Hall all have looked good. Just when I think someone is or will emerge as the front-runner, another guy does something well. My gut tells me that Overstreet may be that guy, but I do think Evans and Hall will get carries. I don’t think it will be like the last two seasons where Brian Hill got virtually all the carries.
— From what Bohl has said and also what I’ve seen, UW’s wide receivers are catching the ball well so far this spring. I think this group will be fine this season. Are they ready to play a game now? No, but UW has plenty to work with. There was an intriguing addition to the wide receiver group this past week. Redshirt freshman walk-on Isaac Leppke was moved over from quarterback. Leppke is a good-looking athlete at 6-foot-4 and close to 200 pounds. It wasn’t a deal where Leppke was doing bad things at quarterback, but Leppke told me Bohl and offensive coordinator Brent Vigen gave him the option to move to wide receiver because they thought he could help the team sooner there than at quarterback. Leppke jumped at the chance. I will have more on Leppke later in the week in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and at wyosports.net. But this is a kid who had FCS offers to play quarterback and a Division I offer from Iowa to run track as a hurdler.
— Bohl said that junior defensive lineman Conner Cain is moving to nose tackle, which his a change in positions but not as drastic as moving from offense to defense, or vice versa. Cain is around 285 pounds, and so far has been able to maintain that weight after playing just under 260 at the end of last season as a defensive tackle and nose tackle. A story on Cain and some of the other interior defensive linemen also will be coming next week.
— And, it sounds like sophomore kicker Cooper Rothe is having a good spring. UW does field-goal work near the end of each practice, and Bohl has been pleased with Rothe so far. The day I got to see him he didn’t miss a field goal, and made a long of 47 yards. Saturday he drilled a 50-yarder. Rothe was 13 of 20 in field goals last season.
— UW remains relatively healthy heading into Week 3 of practices. Sophomore wide receiver John Okwoli (ankle) missed a little time last week, but his injury doesn’t appear to be serious.
— Bohl said UW will continue to mix in some scrimmage periods this week in practice, but the Cowboys’ first full-blown scrimmage will be this coming Saturday in Casper, which is open and free to the public.
Would love to hear your feedback or any questions you have on UW football. You can leave a comment here, or shoot me on on Twitter: @rpgagliardi.