Thornton gives his take on UW’s quarterbacks this spring

Wyoming junior Tom Thornton ended last season as the Cowboys’ backup quarterback.

Prior to the start of spring drills, Thornton was one of six scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. With a logjam there, UW moved him to wide receiver.

Tom Thornton

Tom Thornton

Thornton’s transition to receiver is still a work in progress, but he’s happy with the move. For more on that, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to

Earlier this week, I asked Thornton what he thought of the play of UW’s four quarterbacks this spring: senior Cameron Coffman, sophomore and junior college transfer Josh Allen, redshirt freshman Nick Smith and redshirt sophomore Aaron Young.

Coffman was named the starter earlier in spring drills. Allen is currently listed as the backup, followed by Smith and Young.

“I think they’re doing a great job. Going form last year to now, you can see their knowledge of the offense has improved.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

“Cam has looked fantastic. His accuracy is on point. His reads are on point. I think he’s goin to have an unbelievable year. Josh is doing well, but is the newest guy. He has an unbelievable arm. He needs to know when to tone it down a little bit. He threw a screen pass bout 90 miles an hour. He’s starting to pick up the offense. Nick’s is doing a solid job and Aaron is as well.”

Thornton also said that losing redshirt freshman Austin Fort “kind of sucks.” Fort was moved from quarterback to tight end last week. Soon after that, UW announced Fort will transfer.

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Cowboys share some of the Easter favorites

With the Easter weekend upon us, we all know the religious importance it holds for many.

But to have some fun, I asked some of the Wyoming football players and coaches what their favorite Easter candy is — and there is a lot to choose from.

Here are some of the responses:

Head coach Craig Bohl: Marshmallow Peeps

LB Lucas Wacha: Dove chocolate with caramel inside

RB Brian Hill: Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups/Eggs

DE coach AJ Cooper: Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs

QB Cameron Coffman: Resse’s Pieces

RB Shaun Wick: Cadbury Eggs

LB Devin McKenna: Dark Hershey’s chocolate

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Spring practice important for trio of UW wide receivers

Wyoming has held only one of its 15 spring practices, with the second and third workouts coming Friday and Saturday.

All are important for the team, but perhaps none more for three receivers who hope to see the field this season.

It’s safe to assume that juniors Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt will play. They are the Cowboys’ leading returning receivers as both combined for 53 catches for 709 yards and three touchdowns in 2014. Their roles will change this season, and there will be more on that down the road.

But for junior Tanner Simpson of Lander, senior Justin Berger and true freshman Joe Parker, the next month will be their chances to see if they have what it takes to have a role on the field this season.

Kenni Burns

Kenni Burns

“You don’t always have to be a big play-maker all the time,” UW receivers coach Kenni Burns said. “You can be a guy that goes in and spells a guy for 10 or 15 plays a game. A guy that knows what he’s doing and competes at a high level, like (senior) Keenan Montgomery did for us last season.”

“A guy that knows his role and knows his limitations of what he can or can’t do. I think Tanner’s gravitated to that a little bit, along with Justin.”

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Mallory happy to be newest addition to UW football coaching staff

Curt Mallory remembers being a young assistant coach at Ball State in 1997, which was the first time he met Craig Bohl — now Wyoming’s head coach but then an assistant coach at Nebraska where the Cornhuskers were coming off winning a national title.

Curt Mallory

Curt Mallory

Mallory called Bohl and asked if he could come watch some film with him at Nebraska. Bohl took an entire day to spend with Mallory.

Now, Mallory is coaching on Bohl’s staff at UW as the Cowboys’ defensive secondary coach and passing game coordinator. Mallory joined UW’s staff earlier this year.

“From that time on you root for guys like that,” said Mallory of Bohl. “Those are the kind of guys you want to work for. I’m real fortunate to be here and excited to be here.”

Mallory came to UW from his alma mater, Michigan, where he coached the defensive secondary there from 2011-14. Mallory also has coached at Akron, Illinois, Indiana, Central Michigan and Ball State. Most of Mallory’s stops had him coach the secondary, but he also has worked with linebackers, special teams units and he was the defensive coordinator during the one season he was at Akron in 2010.

“His experience is showing rather quickly,” said Bohl of Mallory being on the coaching staff. “(The Mountain West) is a perimeter league with a lot of speed and skill so those back seven guys really need to work in concert. … Last year, we couldn’t run well enough defensively.”

Mallory said he knew UW running backs coach Mike Bath when he was an assistant coach in the Mid-American Conference. While at Indiana, current UW receivers coach Kenni Burns was a running back for the Hoosiers.

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