Welcome to the eleventh piece in our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. The aim of these articles is to provide a detailed look at what each team has done thus far on the recruiting trail, and what work still needs to be put in before NLI day in February. One team a day will be featured, in order of where they fall in their current MWCConnection ranking. Today looks at Wyoming.
11th in MWConnection Recruiting Rankings.
It was basically a tale of three seasons for the Cowboys this year. In the first part, they went 2-2, beating lowly New Mexico State and Wofford but losing big to P5 opponents Washington State and Missouri. Part 2 of their schedule was arguably against the toughest teams they would face. They lost four straight games to Boise State, Hawaii, Fresno State, and Utah State, three of which won 10 games this season. Then, in the last four games, Wyoming rebounded for a complete reversal. They reeled off four straight wins against Colorado State, San Jose State, Air Force, and New Mexico. They finished 6-6 and were denied an opportunity in a bowl game despite qualifying.
In what would be considered a change of pace in today’s spread/up-tempo movement, the Cowboys offense is a more traditional one. It features two WRs, a TE, a RB, and a FB. Their WRs from last season we one shorter shifter player complimented by a bigger more physical receiver, which gives them variety though it doesn’t have to be that way. The TE in an offense like this should be very balanced, as there is a strong emphasis on the power-run game. Blocking is a must and as a receiver, the scheme doesn’t necessarily call for a deep-threat in the passing game. The running-back would arguably be the most important player in an offense like this, as they lean on the run game considerably, both between and outside the tackles.
On the defensive side, they play a very traditional 4-3. Like described in past articles, the DEs are the primary pass-rushers and tend to be a bit on the lighter side to use speed. The DT tends to be an interior rusher and along with the NT, plugs up the middle to stop the run. The LBs all have different focuses: the MLB stops the run and covers running backs out of the backfield on check downs, the WLB has some run-stopping abilities but also plays in coverage with a slot WR or TE, while the SLB is used to blitz, stop the run, and is your primary pass defender out of the 3, picking up slot WRs or TEs, whoever is considered a bigger threat. The safeties tend to play deeper to provide support to the CBs.
The Road So Far:
Wyoming inked 18 players in the December part of their class. Seven members were on the offensive side of the ball, with ten coming on defense and one was announced as an athlete. Like nearly everyone else in the conference, Wyoming recruits California heavily and eight players came out of that state. They also snagged four out of Texas and then recruited states unique to them compared to MWC teams; Minnesota (3), Illinois (1), Missouri (1), and Wyoming (1).
Looking at their list of offensive players, they went heavy on pass catchers, with 3 wide receivers and 2 tight ends. Height was a huge theme, with all five of those players being listed at 6’2 or taller. Parker Christensen will serve more of an H-back role, while Treyton Welch will come in as a more traditional type of tight end. Alex Brown is a tall target at 6’4 and figures to be in the mix right away. He’s joined by Dev Jennings, who could bring a speedier dynamic to the offense, and Isaiah Neyor should be a factor in the offense during his career as well. The Cowboys also added two offensive linemen in Latrell Bible and Jack Lookabaugh. Both continue the theme for height and can benefit from a year or two of adding weight, which both have room on their frame to do. ATH Keonte Glinton can play WR or DB but may see the field quicker on the offensive end. He will make an impact regardless of the position he plays.
Shifting over to defense, Jaylen Pate is one of three defensive ends and he is the type of athlete who will end up making plays and creating havoc in the backfield during his Cowboys career. He’ll be joined by Devonne Harris and Naphtali Moimoi, both of whom also have the physical traits and gifts to develop into solid pass rushers. Carlos Harrison and Isaiah Abdullah should slot nicely into the linebacker spots as run-stoppers. They certainly restocked the secondary by bringing five players in that unit. Caleb Robinson and Jordan Murry were announced as cornerbacks. Robinson has a chance to compete for playing time right away. Then, the trio of Easton Gibbs, Allen Smith, and Jerome Cooper filling out the DB ranks. Smith is small but very athletic, while Cooper and Gibbs both have the natural build of safeties.
Number who signed in December: 18
Number who will enroll early: 1
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: QB, RB, DT, LB
The Cowboy’s December class may be better than 11th or if nothing else, a very solid 11th (if such a thing exists). When each class gets a deeper look in our February breakdown, don’t be surprised if they end up a few spots higher than their current position. They have the core of their class but there’s still work to do between now and February.
While Wyoming likely won’t pick up commitments from every one of these positions listed above, they should look for at least one of them on each side of the ball. Running back is a key position for them in their offense and should be a spot they want to take a commit each season. They brought in three defensive ends but none on the inside of the line, so they may want to take a look at an athlete who can step into one of those spots.
Coming tomorrow: Hawaii