Grant talks about UW’s wide receivers

New Wyoming wide receivers coach Mike Grant hit the ground running when he was hired back in late January.

Mike Grant

Mike Grant

Grant has 22 years of experience as a college coach, and was on Nebraska’s staff as a graduate assistant when current UW coach Craig Bohl was an assistant with the Cornhuskers.

Grant has two veteran receivers to work with in seniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt, and has liked what he’s seen from both so far this spring, and even going back to winter workouts.

I asked Grant about UW’s young receivers, and here’s what he said about sophomores James Price and Justice Murphy, along with redshirt freshman C.J. Johnson. Here’s what he said.

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Bohl wants to see more from UW’s young wide receivers

There was a lot of publicity and hype for Wyoming’s five true freshmen wide receivers this season. I wrote my share of stories and blog posts about them.

But through four games, there hasn’t been much production.

James Price

James Price

James Price caught two passes for 26 yards in UW’s 38-28 loss to New Mexico last Saturday. Both of those came late when the game was already decided. Those were the first two catches of his career. Joe Parker, who enrolled at UW in January and went through spring drills, has caught two passes for 10 yards.

The other three — Justice Murphy, Dameko Doddles and C.J. Johnson have yet to catch a pass. Murphy and Doddles have played. Johnson will redshirt this season. Murphy scored a touchdown in UW’s 48-29 home loss to Eastern Michigan on Sept. 12 on a fly sweep. He also fumbled later in the game on a similar play.

“We’ve tried to integrate guys into games, but we’re not completely happy with all our freshmen wide receivers, though. They need to take a step forward,” coach Craig Bohl said. “That may mean feeding them with a fire hose. (Juniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt) have played some excellent football, but we need to find more than two. We’re pushing some of those guys.”

Another young wide receiver Bohl said UW will take a look at in practice this week is true freshman walk-on Tayton Montgomery, a Cheyenne Central graduate, at 5-11, 165 pounds.

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UW at Washington St. football – notes, quotes and video

First thing is first, here is my No. 1 key for Wyoming if it hopes to pull the upset at Washington State, which is a 24-point favorite, Saturday night in Pullman, Washington. Kickoff is at 6:40 p.m. MT and televised by the Pac-12 Network.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

Offense is the best defense: Wyoming wants to run the football and control the clock. Washington State wants to throw it around and score fast. The Cowboys’ defensive struggles have been well documented, so their best defense today is to keep the defense off the field as much as possible with the offense. UW needs to be more balanced after 430 rushing yards and only 32 passing yards last week against Eastern Michigan. The return of redshirt senior starting quarterback Cameron Coffman from a knee injury should help.

For more keys and information about the game see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Second, here is my preview of the game:

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UW’s young receivers trying to break into exclusive group

What started out as something fun turned into a little bit of controversey — but still fun.

Talking to a couple of Wyoming’s true freshmen wide receivers the last few days, they said they have the nickname of WWA — Wide receivers With Attitude.

But after Tuesday’s practice, a previous blog post on this was already up, UW junior receivers Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt came up to me and told me the real story.

Both said they were the ones that came up with the nickname for the current group of receivers during spring drills. Only one of the true freshmen receivers were there then — Joe Parker — who graduated from high school early and enrolled at UW in January.

Gentry and Maulhardt said guys have to earn their way into the WWA, and Maulhardt said both were bothered so much by what the freshmen’s perception of this that he and Gentry wouldn’t allow the freshmen to eat lunch with them Tuesday.

Still, it’s a fun story and there is more on these guys in Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also on wyosports.net.

Dameko Doddles

Dameko Doddles

True freshman Dameko Doddles (6-2, 208) goes into a little more detail on each one and some of the characteristics of all of UW’s wide receivers.

Here is Doddles’ description of each one:

Joe Parker (5-10, 182): “Small and shifty.”

Justice Murphy (6-0, 180): “Bigger, but a shifty receiver, too.”

Himself and James Price (6-2, 208): “More of a big body. JP likes to back-shoulder the most. I’m more of a post-up type of guy.”

C.J. Johnson (6-2, 190): “A finesse receiver. He’s smooth.”

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Freeman’s speed, abilities catching the eyes of coaches during fall camp

One of Wyoming’s true freshman football players that has been getting a lot of attention so far in camp in cornerback Davion Freeman.

Davion Freeman

Davion Freeman

The 5-foot-9, 156-pounder from Del City, Oklahoma, is competing with fellow true freshman Antonio Hull (5-10, 188) from Diamond Bar, California, for playing time — and perhaps a starting job.

Second-year coach Craig Bohl said one or both could see playing time this season, and that Saturday’s scrimmage will go a long way towards making that decision.

“Just effort. Sprinting to the ball after each play. Just hustling,” said Freeman recently on how he’s been able to have early success in fall camp. “The coaches notice that and want you on the field. When you hustle anything can happen. When there’s a fumble and you;re there to pick it up.”

Learning the play book and an more complex defensive scheme are the two things Freeman said has been the biggest adjustment for him at the college level so far.

“Once I do that, things should go real good,” Freeman said.

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UW football fall camp – Day 1

I wish I could give you a lot of hard-hitting analysis and insight from Wyoming’s first practice of fall camp Monday morning in Laramie.

Unfortunately, as was the case last season, media members are allowed to watch only the first 30 minutes of practice, and not a whole lot happens during that time. And, with this being the first of 24 fall camp practices and the players in just helmets and shorts, there isn’t a lot to report.

Here is some video of UW’s quarterbacks getting in some early throws and drill work.


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