Lester, Ogbonna seek more productive seasons

A lot was expected from receivers DeJay Lester and Mazi Ogbonna last season when the came to Wyoming from Snow College in Utah.

They were supposed to give UW the speed and deep-threat ability it sorely lacked. But the results weren’t there. Ogbonna was a respectable fourth on the team last season with 18 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. Lester caught just two passes in seven games.

Now as seniors both expect more productive seasons.

“The difference was enormous in terms of getting used tot he speed and instincts of Division I athletes,” Ogbonna said. “Going against our defensive backs has helped slow the game down and now we’re able to show more of our talents.”

Ogbonna is listed as one of our staters at receiver for UW, while Lester is is backup.

“Mazi has had a good camp, and finished strong for us last year,” coach Dave Christensen said. “I think he’s comfortable now and doing a good job of leading. He’s practicing consistently. He’s going to be a productive player, and I think we’ll get more production out of him than we have in the past.

“DeJay continues to work hard. He hasn’t had the quite the success Mazi has had, but it hasn’t been because of a lack of effort.”

Click on the link below to see a video interview with Lester for more on this.

 

 

UW depth chart prediction

Monday afternoon Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen will speak to the media leading into Saturday’s season-opener against Weber State.

Christensen will release the depth chart for the first game. Some positions (quarterback) we know who will start. In fact, I don’t think there should be many surprises. But why wait until Monday afternoon? Here is how I think the depth chart will look. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Ogbonna out vs. BYU

Wyoming junior receiver Mazi Ogbonna will miss Saturday’s game at BYU due to injury.

UW released its latest injury report at around 3 p.m., and Ogbonna was the only additional player on the list. True freshman defensive lineman Tyler Strong was on the list Monday and also missed last week’s game against No. 9 Utah.

UW does not list specific injuries, nor does coach Dave Christensen talk about specific injuries to players.

Ogbonna has played in all seven games this season after transferring from Snow College in Utah. He started the first three games. He’s caught nine passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, and is the fourth-leading rusher on the team with five carries for 22 yards.

I wasn’t too surprised Ogbonna didn’t make the trip. He participated in some drills but was limited. However, it doesn’t appear the injury is season-ending.

Expect senior Travis Burkhalter and juniors Jonathan Aiken and DeJay Lester to see more playing time at receiver against BYU. And, true freshman running back/receiver Robert Herron is back this week after missing the Utah game due to injury.

Join me for the live blog for the UW-BYU game starting at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Here is the link http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/10/20/wyoming-vs-byu-live-blog-saturday-at-1130am/

Familiar faces for Lester, Ogbonna

They may not have an advanced scouting report, but Wyoming junior receivers DeJay Lester and Mazi Ogbonna are familiar with some of the Southern Utah players when the two teams play Saturday in Laramie.

Lester and Ogbonna came to UW last winter from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, which isn’t that far from Southern Utah in Cedar City.

Starting right tackle Brandon Beddes, starting defensive end Tyler Osborne and starting punter/kicker Ryan McNamara were teammates of Lester and Ogbonna at Snow.

“I talked to a couple of them (Sunday) night,” said Lester, the backup behind sophomore Chris McNeill at one of the four receiver spots. “They texted and said they were ready to come up here and play. (Southern Utah) has some good persoonel. Some of the players we played with at Snow that are there are high-caliber players.”

Ogbonna is listed as a starter in this game.

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On his radio show Monday night, UW coach Dave Christensen said UW has 71 players on scholarship right now. The maximum for a FBS program is 85.

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After 10 starts as a true freshman last season, you would think UW quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels has a better feel of what to expect in his first start of 2010.

Maybe, but that doesn’t diminish his excitement.

“It’s incredibly different and really exciting starting a new chapter with a whole new team, and me being a major part of it,” he said. “Every year is a different year and for me my year really started against UNLV last year (his first ever start). I have that  same feeling in my stomach now.”

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This will be UW’s first true night home-opener since 1988 when it beat Brigham Young 24-14. It also will debut its new suites and club seats, and the hype seems to be at a similar level for this opener that the one in 2007 when  a sellout crowd watched the Cowboys beat Virginia 23-3.

But that game was played during the day.

“You can’t get caught up in the hype, but it adds excitement to the whole thing,” Carta-Samuels said. “College football is more exciting because more people are involved and  more is riding on each game. But high school football is the most fun to play because you’re playing at night under the lights. You have everyone you know there.

“It’s going to be awesome under the lights in our home stadium. I will have my family there behind me, as well as the student body who is like my new family. It will be really exciting.”

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The first Mountain West Conference coaches teleconference was Tuesday morning. It went about 30 to 40 minutes long due to the influx of questions.

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said he knows nothing, and likes it that way, in terms of whether or not his school will leave the MWC. BYU has until Wednesday to decide if it wants to be elsewhere next season.

MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson wasn’t available for comment on the call. He often is at the end after all the coaches are done.

TCU coach Gary Patterson put his teams through the heat this summer, and Colorado State looks to be the only FBS team to start a true freshman at quarterback.

For more on that, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com.

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I made a mistake in my post yesterday. My live chat to talk Wyoming football, or anything for that matter, will be at 3 p.m. THURSDAY. Not Friday as I stated yesterday. Here is a direct link to the chat http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/08/31/live-chat-cowboy-football/

On Friday, our special UW football section comes out. I think you’re going to like it. You definitely need to pick up a copy of the Tribune Eagle or Boomerang that day to check it out!