Players reported Sunday, and the first practice of fall camp for the Wyoming football team is Monday morning. There is no media access to Monday’s practice because UW will have its media day for football at noon Monday.
But during the MW Media Summit in Las Vegas I talked to fourth-year coach Craig Bohl and junior safety Andrew Wingard about a few things about the team heading into camp.
This is what Bohl said about the position battles he expects to see in camp: “At running back, we made progress during the spring, and I would like to and see someone come to forefront there. At tight end, we have a lot of players, but they are guys who have not played a lot. I also see a pretty intense battle at cornerback. We have some experienced players, but a young guy like (sophomore) Tyler Hall really came on during the spring.”
Sophomore Milo Hall came out of spring as the starter at running back, but junior Nico Evans and redshirt sophomore Kellen Overstreet aren’t that far behind. Two Wyoming
products are atop the depth chart at tight end in junior Josh Harshman of Casper and junior Austin Fort of Gillette. Junior Tyree Mayfield may be the most talented tight end UW has, but he is listed third on the depth chart entering fall camp. Hall earned one of the two starting jobs at cornerback after spring drills, but junior Antonio Hull and seniors Robert Priester and Rico Gafford have played a lot of football for the Cowboys.
“The only position we don’t figure to be a lot of competition (in terms of being the starter) is at quarterback,” said Bohl with a smile when talking about junior quarterback Josh Allen, the preseason MW Offensive Player of the Year voted on by the media.
I also asked Bohl about what newcomers could emerge to see playing time this season. That’s a tough question to ask before camp. One thing is certain: two newcomers will play and start in graduate senior transfer Kolton Donovan at long snapper and true freshman Tim Zaleski at punter. UW really doesn’t have anyone else at those spots, and those two were signed to make immediate impacts.
Bohl said skill players often have a shot at seeing the field sooner than later in their college careers. Bohl added he heard good things about true freshman Avante’ Cox (5-11, 170) as a slot receiver. Bohl also said he likes the young offensive and defensive linemen UW signed, and in each of the first three seasons, the Cowboys have played at least one true freshman along the offensive line.
Wingard, who was voted as the preseason MW Defensive Player of the Year, said he’s been impressed with four true freshman during summer workouts: linebacker Trey Woods (6-3, 210), cornerback C.J. Coldon (6-1, 175), wide receiver Jared Scott (6-6, 215) and running back Trey Dorfner (6-0, 175).
Wingard said it was good to see him and Allen get the preseason recognition they did, and also seeing UW picked third in the six-team MW Mountain Division after being picked last in 2016. However, Wingard added he and his teammates aren’t letting expectations and preseason hype dictate how they approach this season.
“I just have to be humble and go out and play with my teammates and try to win games,” he said. “We’re not going to change anything as a team. We’re putting our heads down and grinding. “Guys are more motivated now after where we went last year. Guys want to go back and do that again. Last year was so fun, and that has been conveyed all the way down to the new guys. We want to go higher this year, and we’ve been working our butts off to get there.”
For more UW coverage from fall camp, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net.