Certainly no surprise Wyoming coach Dave Christensen named true freshman Brett Smith the starting quarterback. But he jumped the gun a little bit as he said last Saturday he would wait until Aug. 29 (Monday) to do it. He also said after UW’s third scrimmage of fall camp there wouldn’t be any news conference or news release on who the starting quarterback would be.
Well, there was a news release that came out just before practice started Tuesday. But all it did was confirm what most felt would happen based on what occurred in spring drills and fall camp. The most experienced guy got the job as Smith was around for both. Junior-college transfer Colby Kirkegaard and true freshman Adam Pittser were not.
Kirkegaard is the backup and Pittser is No. 3. Christensen said he would like to redshirt Pittser if possible.
Christensen isn’t allowing any of his quarterbacks to talk to the media, but here’s some comments Tuesday from others:
–“We evaluated everything and had a chance to talk to the players. We like to do that before we start announcing things to the public and the media. I would say he’s further ahead than I would have anticipated. The key for him is it has to happen Sept. 3.” — Christensen.
–“Brett definitely earned his stripes with us starting in the spring. He came in doing all the things we wanted him to do, and more. He definitely earned the starting quarterback job here. He’s one of the hardest working guys I know.” — senior receiver Mazi Ogbonna
–“We have all the confidence in him. He’s our starter. He’s our quarterback so he’s got to step it up. We’re going to ride with him.” — sophomore tight end T.J. Smith
–“He’s extremely confident directing the offense. He’s confident and comfortable in the pocket. When he’s been under pressure he steps up and makes a play. (The offense) is extremely confident in him. He’s a freshman, but he’s a leader. He doesn’t act like a freshman. If you didn’t know him you’d think he was an upper-classman.” — junior center Nick Carlson
–“The biggest thing about that kid is he’s a great competitor. He will make himself into a great quarterback because of his work ethic, and he loves to compete. It helps he can throw the ball and he’s pretty mobile. He’s got some God-given ability, but its what’s inside the heart that’s going to get him over the top.” — offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Gregg Brandon
See my column on Smith being named starter in Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com
In some other notes from practice Tuesday:
–This was UW’s first practice since last Saturday. Players were in shoulder pads, shorts and helmets and practiced outside. The Cowboys practice Wednesday, are off Thursday and then practice through the weekend.
–Christensen said he will wait until Monday to announce other starters and depth chart moves.
–Christensen also said possibly half of the true freshmen on the roster could play this season, but nothing has definitely been set in stone.
–Three walk-ons were added to the roster as school started Monday: OL Andrew Crow (6-1, 260) from Laramie; DL Garrison Hocker (6-2, 220) from Augusta, Mich., and OL Carson Kass (6-2, 265) from Naches, Wash.
–Scouts from the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings were at practice.