Youngest UW wide receivers doing good things this season

The lead to my story in Friday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and online at wyosports.net, is about Wyoming’s wide receivers. Yes, seniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt continue to get the majority of the catches and production. However, first-year wide receivers coach Mike Grant is pleased with the progress and improvement of some of the younger guys.

John Okwoli

John Okwoli

Taking that a step further, Grant also likes what he sees with his two two freshmen wide receivers — John Okwoli and Parker Dumas.

Okwoli hasn’t caught a pass this season, but has played in every game — mostly on special teams. Grant said the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Okwoli has a lot of ability. He wants to continue to get Okwoli ready to play if he’s needed.

Dumas (6-5, 200) is being redshirted this season. He is in the same mold as Maulhardt (6-6, 230) in terms of his size, and also said Dumas is known as “Little Jake” among some of his teammates. Grant felt it was best to allow Dumas to allow his body to mature more this season.

Friday’s story in the WTE, Laramie Boomerang and at wyosports.net will have a lot of other news about UW football and its game at Nevada Saturday night, so be sure to check it out.

 

Hill inching closer to UW’s career rushing record

Wyoming junior running back Brian Hill needs 74 yards to pass Devin Moore (2005-08) and become the Cowboys’ career rushing leader. Hill enters Saturday night’s Border War at Colorado State with 2,890 yards in 28 games.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

To put that in some perspective, Moore needed 44 games and broke the mark in UW’s last game of the 2008 season against … you guessed it, Colorado State. The Cowboys hope Hill breaks the record Saturday, and then some. They also hope for a better outcome than Moore experienced. UW lost that 2008 game at Colorado State 31-20.

Hill first must pass Ryan Christopherson (1991-94) for second place, but needs only 17 yards to do that. The last time a UW running back broke the school’s career rushing record on the road was Gerald Abraham (1984-87) in the Cowboys’ regular-season finale at Hawaii. Abraham broke the mark with 2,278 yards. That’s now sixth in school history.

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Images from UW football fall camp

Fall camp concluded for Wyoming Saturday with its second and final scrimmage.

Hope you enjoyed the video highlights and interviews I posted throughout camp. I shot a few photos I wanted to share that I though were fun and somewhat funny.

Brendan Turelli and his short shorts.

Brendan Turelli and his short shorts.

First, senior long snapper Brendan Turelli is one of my favorite guys on the team. A great guy who does his job well. During the last week of camp, Turelli and senior punter Ethan Wood got some pairs of¬†workout shorts from UW’s equipment guys, and they are very much¬†old school. Here is Turelli showing them off. Sorry for the titled angle on all these photos you are about to see. Both Wood and Turelli said they made them look like your old-school gym teacher/coach. I think that description does it justice.

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UW fall camp – Day 9

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.

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Conway, Okwoli having good camps at WR for Cowboys

Wyoming doesn’t have a lot of proven depth at the wide receiver spot behind seniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt.

Redshirt freshman C.J. Johnson had a good spring, and continues to be solid in fall camp and figures to be in the mix behind Gentry and Maulhardt. Same is true for sophomores Joe Parker and James Price.

Two more guys may be getting into the mix as well — redshirt freshman Austin Conway and true freshman John Okwoli.

Gentry has been out with a strained hamstring, which has given Conway and Okwoli more chances for reps with he No. 1 offense during camp. Third-year coach Craig Bohl said after Tuesday’s morning practice both Conway and Okwoli have “exceeded expectations” so far in fall camp.

Here’s more from Bohl on Tuesday’s practice.

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Who could play as freshman for UW football in 2016

Fall camp begins Monday for Wyoming football, which consists of 24 practices.

There are lots of questions and storylines going into camp, but one that always intrigues me is who among the newcomers will play.

Last season, 26 true freshmen or redshirt freshmen played for the Cowboys, which was the seventh-most in the country.

Third-year coach Craig Bohl said during Mountain West Football Media Days in late July that he doesn’t expect as many this season, nor does he expect 16 true freshman to see playing time like in 2015.

John Okwoli

John Okwoli

But there will be some true freshmen who play, and Bohl said that three things play factors in that: physical ability, emotional maturity and need at certain positions.

Here are some true freshman Bohl mentioned to me who UW likely will take a hard look at during camp:

WR John Okwoli: The 6-2, 205-pounder from Phoenix was a three-star recruit by ESPN and 247sports.com. He was one of the more highly-touted recruits in UW’s 2016 class. UW looks to be set among its top two receivers in seniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt. Redshirt freshman C.J. Johnson had a good spring. UW needs more wide receivers other than Gentry and Maulhardt to step up, and Okwoli could get a chance.

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