Welcome to the second piece in our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. These articles aim 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.
2nd in MWConnection Recruiting Rankings.
Wyoming had a strong season, one that is not fully reflected in their record. They started their year with a big SEC win, toppling Missouri. They took care of a few lighter non-conference teams before a hiccup against Tulsa. In conference play, the Cowboys basically beat the teams they should beat (UNLV, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado State) and lost every game that was a measuring stick of where they fell in the MWC rankings (SDSU, Boise State, Utah State, Air Force). They had one of the best defenses in the conference and struggled at times on offense. There were efficient running the ball but struggled to be consistent in the passing game.
As mentioned above, the offense should be a big focus in the 2020 recruiting class for Wyoming. Though they have two QBs who should compete for playing time next season, depth is vital in case one transfers out of the program. The offensive line has suffered injuries two years in a row now, and though depth has been developed as a result, more depth is always needed. There is also a need for playmakers at the skill positions. On defense, they are replacing their star linebacker, Logan Wilson, as well as some members of the secondary.
The Road So Far:
The Cowboys formula in the Bohl era has been to identify under the radar recruits that fit their system and can be developed in the program. This approach has also led to a slower and more methodical approach to recruiting, one that occurs slowly over the season. With the 2020 class, Wyoming gathered players at a quicker pace than usual and was able to secure a pretty talented class. One that was towards the top of the MWC to be exact.
Craig Bohl has made a habit of recruiting non-traditional Mountain West states, and the results have been beneficial. Some ties likely date back to his days at NDSU, such as Illinois. They received a commit from that state once again, along with Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and of course, in-state Wyoming. Colorado, California, and Nebraska was where they found the bulk of their class though.
The Cowboys traditional I-formation offense found some future pieces with running back Joey Braasch, fullback Caleb Driskell and TE Nick Miles, both of which figure to develop into key players in their rotation moving forward. Gavin Beerup has a great name and the skills to match at the quarterback position. As mentioned above, OL was an area of need, and they added four players to the mix; future anchors Kohl Herbolsheimer and Nofoafia Tulafono, along with Malik Williams and Mana Taimami.
This class has been heavy on defense thus far, as they look to restock that unit. Caleb Robinson and Gavin Meyer look to add a lot of size to the interior of the line, a trio of talent at defensive end comes in the form of Cameron Smith, Braden Siders, and Oluwaseyi Omotosho. Defensive back landed four players to their unit, and one or two out of Isaac White, Wyette Keler, Cameron Stone, or Keshaun Taylor figure to find their way on to the field next season. Brent VanderVeen will also factor in at linebacker.
Number who signed in December: 18
Number who will enroll early: 1
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: LB, WR
What a difference a year makes. Their December post a year ago had them 11th, and now they are all the way up to 2nd, in thanks to both a boost in the quality of their recruits as well as securing commits throughout the year as opposed to doing their heavy lifting after football season like in past years.
Though the Cowboys are way ahead of their usual schedule, they still have some work to do in the weeks to come. Wide Receiver is a spot that they are sure to focus on in January and look for the traditional Bohl type wideouts with lots of size. Linebacker figures to be another critical area, and they likely are not finished at that position yet. Lastly, bringing in a wide receiver to this class wouldn’t be a bad thing.
The great thing for the Cowboys is they have the majority of their class signed, and now they can be particular about the remaining spots and really focus on a few recruits to bring in. If Wyoming can fill in the cracks at WR and especially at LB, then they can solidify themselves as one of the top classes in Mountain West.
Previous posts: Boise State
Coming Monday: Nevada