Pair of linemen commit to Cowboys

The Wyoming football program received verbal commitments from two high school linemen Monday.

Jake Jones, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive lineman from Lakewood High in Lakewood, Colo., and Gary Lee, a 6-5, 285-pound defensive tackle from Victory Christian High in Tulsa, Okla., gave the Cowboys 19 verbal commitments in their 2011 recruiting class. UW has six other players signed and currently enrolled in school.

Jones is a two-star recruit out of five by Rivals.com. He played both offensive and defensive line in high school, and recorded 108 pancake blocks as an offensive tackle as a senior. Here is a YouTube highight video of Jones:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/video/recruiting-football/Jake-Jones-Highlights-1-1003355?

Jones visited UW on Dec. 10 and had a scholarship offer from Air Force. Colorado, Oregon State, Stanford and Tennessee also recruited him.

Lee also is a two-star prospect by Rivals.com, and visited UW the weekend of Jan. 14-16. Like Jones, he played offensive and defensive line in high school. He earned All-State honors by the Oklahoma Coaches Association as an offensive lineman.

Lee had scholarship offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Missouri State and Tulsa.

Eight of UW’s commitments/signees are three-star recruits by Rivals.com. The others are all two-star prospects.

Including the signees, UW has 25 players in its recruiting class, the maximum it can sign. However, UW could choose to grayshirt some kids in this class, meaning they would pay their own way to school for the fall of 2011 or not enroll at UW until January of 2012 and go on scholarship then to count toward the 2012 class.

We shall see. It’s not often UW has its entire recruiting class either signed or verbally committed with a little more than a week prior to signing day, which is Feb. 2. Will be interesting to see if the Cowboys can keep all of the verbal commitments or if other schools swoop in and try to lure them away.

Texas receiver commits to UW

Kevin Robertson, a 6-foot-4, 208 pound receiver from Northland Christian High in Houston verbally committed to Wyoming Sunday. Robertson visited Laramie this weekend.

Here is a YouTube highlight video of Robertson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWGMWkyT1XY

Robertson was given a three-star rating out of five by Rivals.com. He played receiver and safety in high school and scored 20 touchdowns as a senior. He has 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash and a 34-inch vertical leap.

Robertson also received a scholarship offer from North Texas. Houston, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Rice and TCU also recruited him.

Robertson is the second big receiver from Texas UW has a verbal commitment from. The other, Josh Doctson (6-3, 175) from Mansfield, Texas, is also a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.

UW now has 17 verbal commitments and six others in its 2011 recruiting class signed and enrolled in school. The Cowboys can sign as many as 25 in a recruiting class. Signing day is Feb. 2.

All of the recruits in this class are at least two-star prospects by Rivals.com, and seven are three-star recruits.

The Cowboys likely will go after an offensive or defensive lineman with their final scholarship(s), or a cornerback.

Here is an updated list of signees and verbal commitments:

%^Luke Anderson, S (5-10, 185) Southlake, Texas (Blinn College)

^Zack Berg, S, 6-1, 202, Edmonds, Wash. (Woodway HS)

%^Alex Borgs, LB, 6-1, 220, Duesseldorf, Germany

^Blair Burns, CB, 5-10, 155, Plano, Texas (Plano HS)

*Josh Doctson, WR, 6-3, 175, Mansfield, Texas (Legacy HS)

^Zach Ewan, LS, 5-11, 230, Phoenix (North Canyon HS)

%*Korey Jones, LB, 6-2, 215, Garden City (Kan.) CC, Fort Collins, Colo.

^Rafe Kiely, OG 6-3, 288, Wheaton, Ill. (North HS)

%*Miraldo Michel, DE, 6-3, 250, Ellsworth (Iowa) CC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

^Malkaam Muhammad, LB, 6-0, 210, St. Joseph, Mo. (Central HS)

^London Muse, WR, 5-11, 170, Sugar Land, Texas, (Dulles HS)

^Trey Norman, ATH, 6-1, 170, Texarkana, Texas, (Liberty-Eylau HS)

%*Mark Nzeocha, S, 6-2, 215, Neusitz, Germany

*Adam Pittser,QB,  6-1, 200, Richmond, Ill. (Burton HS)

*Chad Reese, CB, 5-11, 174, Tyler, Texas, (Lee HS)

*Kevin Robertson, WR, 6-4, 208, Houston (Northland Christian HS)

^Dominic Rufran, WR, 5-11, 175, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Palmer HS)

^Zach Rushing, OG, 6-4, 290, D’Iberville, Miss. (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College)

%^Brett Smith, QB, 6-1, 185, Salem, Ore. (West HS)

Daniel Sullivan, K, 5-10, 165, Everett, Wash. (Jackson HS)

^Kody Sutton, RB, 5-9, 186, Texarkana, Texas (Texas HS)

Austin Traphagan, OL, 6-6, 280, Yuma, Colo. (Yuma HS)

*Eddie Yarbrough, LB, 6-3, 235, Aurora, Colo. (Grandview HS)

^Two-star recruit by Rivals.com

*Three-star recruit by Rivals.com

%Currently enrolled at UW

Top Colo. LB commits to Cowboys

Eddie Yarbrough, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker from Grandview High in Aurora, Colo., has verbally committed to play football at the University of Wyoming.

Yarbrough was rated as a three-star recruit out of five by Rivals.com, which also ranked him as the sixth-best recruit in the state of Colorado and the 31st-best outside linebacker in the nation. ESPN.com and Scout.com gave him a two-star rating out of five.

Here’s how ESPN.com analyzed Yarbrough: “He is a tough run stopper with some limitations in pass coverage. Has the size and playing strength for the inside linebacker position at the major level of competition. Shows the flexibility, balance and agility necessary to make plays from inside to the edge.”

Yarbrough, who visited UW last weekend, also had scholarship offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Indiana and Utah. He also was recruited by Arizona, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Yarbrough runs a 4.8-second 40-yard dash.

He is the 22nd verbal commitment in UW’s recruiting class, which includes six that have signed and are currently enrolled in school. Verbal commitments are non-binding, and NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from talking to the media about specific recruits until they’ve signed their national letters of intent. Signing day is Feb. 2.

UW hopes to sign 24 or 25 players in this year’s class. The Cowboys likely are looking for offensive or defensive linemen with their final scholarship(s). There also could be another cornerback as cornerback Demarius Reed of Chicago decommitted recently. Or, UW will go after the best available athlete.

This is the fourth Colorado product UW has either signed or committed in this class. Yarbrough and JC linebacker Korey Jones (from Fort Collins but went to JC at Garden City in Kan.) are both three-star recruits by Rivals.com. There may have been years where UW signs more kids from Colorado, but the quality seems to be higher this year.

Any thoughts or opinions on this or the class in general at this point?

Here is the updated list:

%^Luke Anderson, S (5-10, 185) Southlake, Texas (Blinn College)

^Zack Berg, S, 6-1, 202, Edmonds, Wash. (Woodway HS)

%^Alex Borgs, LB, 6-1, 220, Duesseldorf, Germany

^Blair Burns, CB, 5-10, 155, Plano, Texas (Plano HS)

*Josh Doctson, WR, 6-3, 175, Mansfield, Texas (Legacy HS)

^Zach Ewan, LS, 5-11, 230, Phoenix (North Canyon HS)

%*Korey Jones, LB, 6-2, 215, Garden City (Kan.) CC, Fort Collins, Colo.

^Rafe Kiely, OG 6-3, 288, Wheaton, Ill. (North HS)

%*Miraldo Michel, DE, 6-3, 250, Ellsworth (Iowa) CC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

^Malkaam Muhammad, LB, 6-0, 210, St. Joseph, Mo. (Central HS)

^London Muse, WR, 5-11, 170, Sugar Land, Texas, (Dulles HS)

^Trey Norman, ATH, 6-1, 170, Texarkana, Texas, (Liberty-Eylau HS)

%*Mark Nzeocha, S, 6-2, 215, Neusitz, Germany

*Adam Pittser,QB,  6-1, 200, Richmond, Ill. (Burton HS)

*Chad Reese, CB, 5-11, 174, Tyler, Texas, (Lee HS)

^Dominic Rufran, WR, 5-11, 175, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Palmer HS)

^Zach Rushing, OG, 6-4, 290, D’Iberville, Miss. (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College)

%^Brett Smith, QB, 6-1, 185, Salem, Ore. (West HS)

Daniel Sullivan, K, 5-10, 165, Everett, Wash. (Jackson HS)

^Kody Sutton, RB, 5-9, 186, Texarkana, Texas (Texas HS)

Austin Traphagan, OL, 6-6, 280, Yuma, Colo. (Yuma HS)

*Eddie Yarbrough, LB, 6-3, 235, Aurora, Colo. (Grandview HS)

^Two-star recruit by Rivals.com

*Three-star recruit by Rivals.com

%Currently enrolled at UW

Kicker commits to play for Pokes

Daniel Sullivan, a 5-foot-10 inch, 165-pound kicker from Jackson High in Everett, Wash., verbally committed to Wyoming Tuesday.

Sullivan visited Laramie last weekend. He was a First Team All-State selection in Class 4A as a senior. Sullivan recently attended the Kohl’s/ESPN Western Showcase for kickers and was named the event’s most valuable player. He finished first in kickoffs and second in field goals out of the 75 who participated. Kohl’s ranks Sullivan as the seventh-best high school kicker in the country.

Sullivan received scholarship offers from Football Championship Subdivision schools Portland State and Samford. Boise State and Washington also showed interest. Wyoming was the only place Sullivan took an official visit, and to this point, the only Football Bowl Subdivision school to offer him a scholarship.

Sullivan is expected to compete for the starting place-kicker job because junior-to-be Ian Watts didn’t return because of academic reasons. Sullivan was the kicker UW targeted after it found out Watts wouldn’t return.

The place-kicking duties will be Sullivan’s to lose, but senior-to-be punter Austin McCoy has doubled as the kicker the last couple of years. Last season McCoy made all four of his extra points, all in the first game when Watts was out with a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules. In 2009 McCoy made 4 of 6 field goals and 3 of 4 extra points.

UW’s 2011 recruiting class now consists of 22 players, five of which are currently enrolled in school. Signing day for the others is Feb. 2.

More on Carta-Samuels leaving

I talked to now former Wyoming quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels Monday night on the phone.

He was in Laramie gathering his things and telling players he won’t return to UW next season.

ACS said he left for personal reasons. Nothing bad, nothing life-threatening, nothing illegal, nothing academically. He also didn’t tell me specifically why, either.

He said it wasn’t because of a conflict with coaches, or because he thinks he’s too good for UW.

We may never know why, although I’m sure speculation will run rampant.

Carta-Samuels was voted as a team-captain prior to his sophomore season and he said he tried to be a good captain. Coach Dave Christensen told me in December that was too much for ACS to handle and he should have done more to help him back then. He also planned on not having ACS do interviews with the media this coming season to take one more thing off his plate of responsibilities.

 Christensen, who is in Dallas for the American Football Coaches Association’s annual convention, said Monday night he doesn’t plan to sign another quarterback in this year’s recruiting class. He likes the guys in the program now, and two newcomers — true freshmen Brett Smith and Adam Pittser.

Smith is on campus and in school. He graduated early from high school. Pittser is verbally committed, but according Scout.com Pittser will visit Colorado this weekend.

From Smith’s Twitter account Monday night he posted this: “I know lots of WYONation may be scratching heads, but things happen for reasons. Nobody will out work us and we WILL battle! Go POKES!”

This is the third starter and fourth player to not return for UW since the fall semester ended. Kicker Ian Watts, safety Shamiel Gary and receiver David Tooley are the others.

Any common ties here?

None that I see right now. Watts left due to academics. Tooley had a knee injury and some off-field issues. Gary and ACS were for personal reasons. All played different positions so no common ties there.

With all the changes spring ball and fall camp should be interesting this year.

See Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com for more on this story.

UW high on prep kicker from Washington

The Wyoming football team suffered a blow when it learned sophomore kicker Ian Watts won’t return because of academic reasons.

But the Cowboys are after a high school kicker in Washington who looks to be one of the best in the nation. Looks like they are willing to sign one fewer offensive lineman to get this kid. Here is a link to the story http://tinyurl.com/265fzwh

As far as losing strong safety Shamiel Gary and receiver/tight end David Tooley, UW should be fine there, too.

Gary was good in his two years with the Cowboys. Ninety-plus tackles each of his first two seasons and Freshman All-American honors in 2009. The death of his uncle back in November took its toll on him. Even though I never talked to him there was a sense he wasn’t happy at UW or in Laramie. However, reliable sources are telling me Gary is having a tough time finding another school to play for. I also can tell you grades were not a factor in his departure.

Look for junior-college transfer Luke Anderson to have a great chance to replace Gary. Anderson will be at UW when classes start Monday and will go through spring drills. I also wonder since UW must replace both Gary and free safety Chris Prosinski that if that opens the door more for senior Tashaun Gipson to play safety. UW experimented with him there near the end of the season. Gipson has been a three-year starter at cornerback, but could be a star at safety.

Look for the competition to be fierce at both safety and cornerback positions in spring drills and fall camp.

Hard to miss a guy like Tooley when he didn’t play at all last season. He showed promise late in 2009 as a true freshman. But the knee injury he suffered in the regular-season finale at CSU was devistating and he wasn’t even close to ready when fall camp started in August. Not long after that he was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

UW must replace its top two receivers in David Leonard and Zach Bolger, but nine of the top 10 pass-catchers after that are back. And, don’t be surprised if true freshman Josh Doctson from Masfield, Texas, sees the field this season. He was a three-star recruit by Rivals.com. And if you’re looking for a guy to have a break-out year currently on the UW roster, how about sophomore T.J. Smith. He came on late in the year with eight catches for 175 yards and a touchdown.

UW reports violation to MWC

Published reports are out there that Wyoming self-reported a secondary recruiting violation to the Mountain West Conference after a UW employee mentioned a recruit on his Twitter account.

Josh Rebholtz, senior associate athletic director in charge of development/revenue enhancement for the Cowboy Joe Club, posted something on Twitter to watch for Zach Ewan in Wednesday’s Under Armour All-Star Game in Florida. Ewan is a long snapper who verbally committed to UW, but has not signed.

NCAA rules prohibit coaches or school officials to talk about recruits until they have signed their national letters of intent.

UW has not heard back from the MWC, which will determine if there will be any punishment for the violation. Violations like this normally don’t result in significant punishment, if any at all.

The Cowboys do not have any recruits visiting Laramie this weekend. The coaches will attend their national convention late this weekend. UW expects to have some recruits visit next weekend.

UW has 21 verbal commitments, and five of those players will be enrolled in school when classes begin Monday. UW is allowed to sign a maximum of 25 players in this year’s class.

Pokes get commitment from Colorado lineman

Wyoming got its 21st verbal commitment in football Friday from Austin Traphagan, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive lineman from Yuma, Colo.

Traphagan played offensive and defensive line, but is projected to be an offensive lineman with the Cowboys. He is the third offensive lineman in the 2011 recruiting class, joining Zach Rushing (6-4, 290) and Rafe Kiely (6-3, 288). Rushing signed out of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and will enroll at UW in January.

On defense as a senior Traphagan recorded 50 tackles and recovered a fumble. He also throws the shot put and discus in track.

Traphagan is the third player from Colorado to join this recruiting class. Linebacker Korey Jones (6-2, 215) is from Fort Collins and Garden City (Kan.) Community College. Receiver Dominic Rufran (5-11, 175) is from Colorado Springs.

Expect UW to try and get at least two more offensive linemen in this class. It can sign a maximum of 25 players.

Here is a current list of signees and verbal commitments:

%Luke Anderson, S (5-10, 185) Southlake, Texas (Blinn College)

Zack Berg, S, 6-1, 202, Edmonds, Wash. (Woodway HS)

Alex Borgs, LB, 6-1, 220, Duesseldorf, Germany

^Blair Burns, CB, 5-10, 155, Plano, Texas (Plano HS)

*Josh Doctson, WR, 6-3, 175, Mansfield, Texas (Legacy HS)

^Zach Ewan, LS, 5-11, 230, Phoenix (North Canyon HS)

%*Korey Jones, LB, 6-2, 215, Garden City (Kan.) CC, Fort Collins, Colo.

^Rafe Kiely, OG 6-3, 288, Wheaton, Ill. (North HS)

%*Miraldo Michel, DE, 6-3, 250, Ellsworth (Iowa) CC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

^Malkaam Muhammad, LB, 6-0, 210, St. Joseph, Mo. (Central HS)

^London Muse, WR, 5-11, 170, Sugar Land, Texas, (Dulles HS)

^Trey Norman, ATH, 6-1, 170, Texarkana, Texas, (Liberty-Eylau HS)

Mark Nzeocha, S, 6-2, 215, Neusitz, Germany

*Adam Pittser,QB,  6-1, 200, Richmond, Ill. (Burton HS)

^Demarius Reed, CB, 5-10, 155, Chicago (Simeon HS)

*Chad Reese, CB, 5-11, 174, Tyler, Texas, (Lee HS)

Dominic Rufran, WR, 5-11, 175, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Palmer HS)

%Zach Rushing, OG, 6-4, 290, D’Iberville, Miss. (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College)

%^Brett Smith, QB, 6-1, 185, Salem, Ore. (West HS)

Kody Sutton, RB, 5-9, 186, Texarkana, Texas (Texas HS)

Austin Traphagan, OL, 6-6, 280, Yuma, Colo. (Yuma HS)

^Two-star recruit by Rivals.com

*Three-star recruit by Rivals.com

%Will enroll at UW in January

Cowboys sign four mid-year JC transfers

Wednesday was the first day colleges could sign junior-college players who will enroll in school in January, and Wyoming inked four late in the afternoon.

They are:

Safety Luke Anderson (5-10, 200) from Blinn College in Texas

Linebacker Korey Jones (6-2, 220) from Garden City (Kan.) Community College

Defensive end Miraldo Michel (6-3, 286) from Ellsworth (Iowa) Community College

Offensive guard Zach Rushing (6-3, 290) from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

All will have two years of eligibility with UW. Three played on teams that finished on teams that were ranked in the top 15 junior colleges in the country. Jones, who is from Rocky Mountain High in Fort Collins, Colo., was 10th nationally with 108 tackles.

Michel verbally committed to UW a while back and was listed at 250 pounds, but is now at 286. That’s impressive and a couple of coaches familiar with Ellsworth told me this guy is the “real deal.”

I would say all four have a chance to help UW right away. That’s why schools sign JC players, right?

But the fact all four will be here in January helps. And, three of the four are on the defensive side of the ball. There’s a lot to learn, but usually defensive guys have a little better chance at grasping the system than offensive guys, especially in UW’s spread offense.

Last year, UW signed a mid-year offensive lineman in guard Nick Puetz, and he earned the starting job early in spring ball. However, Puetz unexpectidly quit after spring drills. Rushing should get a shot to see what he can do right away.

UW signed six junior-college players last year, but along with Puetz quitting, defensive back Austin Daniels didn’t make it to Laramie for fall camp because of academics.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com.

UW will have another player enroll in January. Quarterback Brett Smith from West Salem High in Salem, Ore., will graduate high school early. However, UW can’t release his name and coaches can’t talk about him per NCAA rules until he is officially enrolled in school and classes start.

Chicago DB commits to Cowboys

Another day, another verbal commitment for Wyoming football.

Tuesday night Demarius Reed, a 5-foot-10, 155-pound cornerback from Simeon High in Chicago verbally committed to the Cowboys, giving them 20 verbal commitments in their 2011 recruiting class.

Reed is a two-star prospect out of a five-star rating by Rivals.com, and UW’s eighth two-star commitment in this class. He has 4.45-second speed in the 40-yard dash and a 37-inch vertical leap.

UW offered him a scholarship back in the spring, and also had scholarship offers from Memphis and Eastern Michigan. Indiana, Ball State, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois also recruited him.

According to ESPN.com’s football recruiting website: “Reed is an active cornerback prospect with good speed and quickness. He is bit slight and undersized but is aggressive around the ball and very productive underneath, particularly on perimeter run and pass support. Makes quick, accurate reads. Displays sold ball hawking skills and Nickel back attributes.”

Verbal commitments UW has received for its 2011 recruiting class:

Luke Anderson, S 5-10, 185) Southlake, Texas (Blinn College)

Zack Berg, S, 6-1, 202, Edmonds, Wash. (Woodway HS)

Alex Borgs, LB, 6-1, 220, Duesseldorf, Germany

^Blair Burns, CB, 5-10, 155, Plano, Texas (Plano HS)

*Josh Doctson, WR, 6-3, 175, Mansfield, Texas (Legacy HS)

^Zach Ewan, LS, 5-11, 230, Phoenix (North Canyon HS)

*Korey Jones, LB, 6-2, 215, Garden City (Kan.) CC, Fort Collins, Colo.

^Rafe Kiely, OG 6-3, 288, Wheaton, Ill. (North HS)

*Miraldo Michel, DE, 6-3, 250, Ellsworth (Iowa) CC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

^Malkaam Muhammad, LB, 6-0, 210, St. Joseph, Mo. (Central HS)

^London Muse, WR, 5-11, 170, Sugar Land, Texas, (Dulles HS)

^Trey Norman, ATH, 6-1, 170, Texarkana, Texas, (Liberty-Eylau HS)

Mark Nzeocha, S, 6-2, 215, Neusitz, Germany

*Adam Pittser,QB,  6-1, 200, Richmond, Ill. (Burton HS)

^Demarius Reed, CB, 5-10, 155, Chicago (Simeon HS)

*Chad Reese, CB, 5-11, 174, Tyler, Texas, (Lee HS)

Dominic Rufran, WR, 5-11, 175, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Palmer HS)

Zach Rushing, OG, 6-4, 290, D’Iberville, Miss. (Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College)

^Brett Smith, QB, 6-1, 185, Salem, Ore. (West HS)

Kody Sutton, RB, 5-9, 186, Texarkana, Texas (Texas HS)

^Two-star recruit by Rivals.com

*Three-star recruit by Rivals.com