Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl wasn’t pleased with what he saw from the Cowboys’ practice Wednesday — the 11th of fall camp.
I’ll let you listen to what Bohl had to say about it.
If you watched the entire Bohl video, you heard him say that senior wide receiver Jake Maulhardt and junior fullback Drew Van Maanen didn’t finish practice with “soft tissue issues.” That means hamstring strains. Senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry, junior cornerback Robert Priester and sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard — all starters — have been dealing with the same thing throughout camp and remain out. However, Bohl is optimistic all three will return soon.
Here are some of the biggest “gains” in terms of Wyoming football players and weight from the end of last season and as spring drills began Tuesday in Laramie.
Weights are from UW’s depth chart prior to its 2015 season-finale against UNLV and its current depth chart before the start of spring football. In the case of running back Brian Hill, I went off the weights he told me personally. Players’ classes in terms of eligibility are listed next to each weight.
I had to call into Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl’s weekly news conference Monday because I have to catch a flight to Las Vegas for Mountain West men’s basketball media day activities that start Tuesday and run through Wednesday. Look for more on that as the week goes on.
Here are a few notes and highlights from Bohl’s news conference:
— Junior linebacker Lucas Wacha, senior defensive end Siaosi Hala’api’api and sophomore cornerback Robert Priester — all starters — continue to be evaluated for concussions suffered in the 31-17 loss at Air Force last Saturday. Bohl said Hala’api’api and Priester are further along than Wacha. All three were listed as starters on UW’s depth chart, but that doesn’t mean any of them will play Saturday at home against Nevada.
— UW is getting dangerously thin at linebacker. Along with Wacha in the middle, junior Devin McKenna injured a knee during the team’s walk-through practice Friday. The only guy left there is junior Eric Nzeocha. Junior weak-side linebacker Will Tutein injured an ankle early against Air Force and didn’t return. His status is unknown. The Cowboys may have only five linebackers available for the Nevada game: Nzeocha, junior D.J. May, true freshmen Christian Irving and Luis Bach and sophomore Tim Kamana.
It’s not a real game, but it’s the next closest thing for Wyoming as it hosts its first and only major scrimmage of fall camp at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Major may not be a good work as coach Craig Bohl said it will consist of around 42 plays. “That’s an indication that we’ve had a pretty aggressive camp,” he said. “We will get some work to some of the guys we think need work. We will hold some guys out. I’ve looked at the number of guys we need to take a look at, and I also want to make sure we go into our first game healthy.”
The scrimmage is closed to the public and media, but here’s what Bohl said after Friday morning’s practice about it, and a few other things.
Redshirt senior starting quarterback Cameron Coffman feels like the scrimmage is important for him. Coffman has not played in a real game since 2013. The last time in a scrimmage-situation was in April in UW’s spring game.
“It’s as close of a look at a real game before our first one,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to go out, compete and act like it’s a real game.
“It’s definitely a whole lot easier going through this offense for the second time. I feel more comfortable with everybody. I know the plays, the playbook and the reads. I’ve gotten better at it, but need to continue to get better.”
As for what he wants to accomplish in Saturday’s scrimmage, Coffman added: “Compete and do well as an offense. Move the ball down the field, get first downs and get in the end zone.”
Wyoming has had a football player on its roster from Germany since 2011, and this season, junior linebacker Eric Nzeocha is competing for a starting spot at middle linebacker.
But there’s another German on the roster who also is competing for playing time at linebacker.
Luis Bach is a 6-foot-2, 208-pound true freshman from Burgoberbach, Germany. He enrolled at UW in January, and played high school-aged football in Germany with Eric Nzeocha and his older brother, Mark.
“Ever since the Nzeochas got over here I was interested in the program,” Bach said. “Mark, Eric and (former UW linebacker Alex Borgs — also from Germany) have all been talking to me and helping me out.”
Bach said some colleges in the United States wanted him to attend their football camps last summer to see him in person. He attended camps at UW and North Dakota State. Bach said he showed enough to the Cowboys’ coaching staff, despite pulling a hamstring, that they offered him a chance to walk on.
Here are the combined stats from Wyoming’s first two scrimmages of spring drills, along with some quick thoughts.
UW’s spring game is at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25 in Laramie.
Rushing: Tapscott 25-177, Evans 21-182 2TD, Wick 12-81 1TD, Hill 14-64. Thoughts: UW know what senior Shaun Wick and sophomore Brian Hill can do. Sophomore Josh Tapscott and redshirt freshman Nico Evans gives UW good depth. Easily the strongest position on the team.
Passing: Coffman 13-27 133 1TD, Allen 6-17 134 1TD, 1INT, Smith 5-12 25 1TD, 1INT, Young 2-10 15. Thoughts: The completion percentage needs to improve for all the quarterbacks. Both scrimmages have emphasized the run more than the pass.
Receiving: Maulhardt 8-110, Gentry 5-82 1TD, Hollister 5-44 1TD, Mayfield 4-52, Lewis 2-15 1TD, Ellis 2-6, Parker 1-9, Tapscott 1-6. Thoughts: Juniors Jake Maulhardt and Tanner Gentry continue to show they are the Cowboys’ top two wide receivers, but only true freshman Joe Parker has caught a pass in the two scrimmages among the other wide receivers. Junior tight end Jacob Hollister will be a threat in the pass game.
Will this what it will look like in less than two weeks when spring drills end, or when the Cowboys open the season Sept. 5 against North Dakota?
Some positions, yes. Others, no.
Here is a fairly quick and short breakdown of what I think of this first depth chart:
Locks: Senior Cameron Coffman at quarterback, senior Shaun Wick and Brian Hill at running back, juniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt at wide receiver, junior Jacob Hollister at tight end, sophomore Drew Van Maanen at fullback, junior Chase Roullier at left guard, seniors Eddie Yarbrough and Siaosi Hala’api’api at defensive end, junior Uso Olive at defensive tackle, junior Lucas Wacha at one of the three linebacker spots (which one is still uncertain) and junior Ethan Wood at punter. I don’t see much movement at any of these spots barring injury.
Wyoming is nearly one-third of the way through spring practice. Here are a few notes and quotes that haven’t made this blog yet, or any of the other stories I’ve done to this point.
–UW coach Craig Bohl said sophomore defensive end Seth Edeen, a walk-on from Cheyenne and graduate of Cheyenne Central, had a good offseason and added about 15 pounds over the winter. During early walk-throughs from the first few practices, Edeen has been rotating in with some of the regular guys such as seniors Eddie Yarbrough and Siaosi Hala’api’api. Another guy rotating in is redshirt freshman Jonathan Kongbo. For more on him, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.
–To no one’s surprise, Bohl said senior Shaun Wick and sophomore Brian Hill have stood out as UW’s top two running backs this spring. But as the Cowboys look for depth behind those two, the competition appears to be going well. “We’re probably the closest in terms of being friends. The competition level we have allows us to push other so much that it’s crazy. Nobody is going to get mad at each other. Everyone is pushing each other to be the best we can be as a position group.” — sophomore running back Josh Tapscott.
— “I’ll put my momma’s house on it that our defense is going to be ready to play,” senior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough said. “One thing people overlook, we had a lot of seniors go down and had a lot of young guys play. I’m definitely excited and confident that our guys are going to play well.”