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2020 Recruiting Breakdown: Wyoming

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Strong supporting cast for the Cowboys, despite no headliner.

NCAA Football: Arizona Bowl-Wyoming vs Georgia State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the third post in our twelve-part recruiting breakdown series. Today looks at the number team in our rankings, Wyoming.

Wyoming had a pattern under Coach Bohl when it comes to their recruiting classes. They find players who mainly fly under the recruiting radar, fit their system, and can be developed by the coaching staff. Then, many of the players become some of the better ones in the conference. This year, the Cowboys actually raised the bar by securing more talent than they have previously. Bohl even called it the best class he’s had since being part of the program. They lack a true headliner but had one of the deepest classes in the MWC in terms of the quantity of talent from top to bottom. Take a look at them below.

The Skinny:

  • 24 players signed
  • 12 offensive, 12 defensive
  • 17 players listed at 3-stars by one of the major recruiting sites.
  • Breakdown by state: Colorado 7, California 7, Texas 5, Nebraska 3, Washington 1, Wisconsin 1, Wyoming 1
  • 112th in the 247 Composite Rankings

The Players:

QB Gavin Beerup

If you watch Gavin’s highlights and think you’ve seen them before, there is a reason they look familiar. He is in the Bohl QB mold, tall, big arm, and can extend plays with his legs. Beerup makes quick reads once the ball is snapped, has a fast release letting go the ball, and every throw is a dart. His stature and elusiveness make him very difficult to tackle when he does move out of the pocket. Gavin will need to develop some areas of his game, most notably stepping into his throws, but he could thrive under the Bohl system.

RB Joey Braasch

Joey is a powerful little running back who will likely get many carries over the years for Wyoming. He hits the holes fast and hard, reaching top speed quickly and can bounce outside pretty easily. Braasch makes quick decisions, and that allows him to gain positive yards on nearly every carry. He can take the ball in the backfield in a variety of different ways and can factor in the return game as well. Joey could see carries as early as next season, depending on how the depth chart shakes out for the Cowboys.

FB Caleb Driskill

Caleb played mostly linebacker in high school but was announced as a full-back for Wyoming. He is tenacious on the field and seems to love contact and play physical. Driskill, as a tackler squares up well and uses his lower body to make a powerful hit. When he switches to the other side of the ball, this will allow him to do the same as a blocker. Caleb may need a bit to really develop into a full-back, but he seems well suited for it.

WR Joshua Cobbs

Joshua brings a lot of speed and depth threat potential to the receiver spot. He gets excellent separation on routes relatively quickly and combines that with plus hands to make difficult catches on the run. Cobbs is elusive, and it allows him to miss a lot of tackles as he is running horizontally and vertically on the field. He looks to fit best on the outside, where his speed can be utilized well. Joshua may need to develop into a well-rounded receiver in college but should find a role early on.

WR Tyrese Grant

Tyrese is the classic Bohl wide receiver in the sense of being a tall, long target who can run downfield. He works great along the sidelines and high points the ball well in the air. Grant catch radius is large, and that bodes well for the Cowboy offense, which didn’t have pinpoint accuracy last season. He also plays defense, so he had an understanding of how corners will try to play him in college. Grant is another player who will redshirt and develop, but he fits a big area of need in the receiver room.

TE Nick Miles

Nick is a big target at tight end entering the fold. As a blocker, he isn’t afraid of contact and especially does an excellent job bumping guys on his way to running routes, but he doesn’t get as low as he should. Miles runs smooth routes and does a nice job looking for the ball as soon as he gets open. He combines a big catch radius with nice hands, and in particular, he is at his best on shorter routes. Nick should specialize as a third-down, and red-zone target and as tight ends are featured a lot in Wyoming’s offense, he should get plenty of opportunities.

JUCO TE Colin O’Brien

Colin enters the fold as one of the best junior college tight ends in the nation. He’s a big target who thrives at catching quick short passes and turning them into big gains with his ability to turn upfield. O’Brien is active in the running game as a blocker, and his tape shows he is willing to bump defenders even when running routes off the line. He isn’t the strongest or fastest TE, but he gets the job done with enough skill in both aspects. Colin should be able to come in and play a significant role right away.

OL Kohl Herbolsheimer

Kohl is an athletic two-way lineman coming to the Cowboys. He appears incredibly strong and excels at run-blocking, which will bode well in Bohl’s system. Herbolsheimer does a nice job seeking out defenders to block and consistently squares up to make the most of his contact. He gets down-field quickly to make extra blocks for running backs and plays through the whistle. Kohl plays left-tackle in high school and projects there going to college as well.

OL Nofoafia Tulafono

Nofoafia is another recruit who played on both sides of the line in high school. He explodes off the line of scrimmage to drive defenders back in run-blocking. Tulafono doesn’t let defenders come off his block and finishes plays with intensity. His technique is pretty solid, and he maintains a low center of gravity off the snap. Nofoafia profiles best as a guard due to his size but has the makings of a multi-year starter at that spot.

OL Malik Williams

Malik is a technical lineman who is not afraid of putting a big hit on someone. He has no problem getting out in front of plays to block in the second level. Williams specializes in pancake blocks and finishes plays well. He looks like he can play guard or tackle in college, but was mainly a tackle in high school. Malik has nice size but will benefit most from a redshirt season in order to add weight to his leaner frame.

OL Emmanuel Pregnon

Emmanuel is yet another player who spent time on both sides of the line in high school but will be on the offensive side full-time now. He sees the field very well for a lineman and is skilled at moving laterally to pick up blocks. Pregnon appears to have good instincts and understands his assignments on each play. He stays low and has a strong stance that he gets into quickly after the snap. Emmanuel is best in pass-protection and would be well-suited at either tackle spot.

OL Mana Taimami

Mana is sneaky athletic considering his size on the offensive line. He gets downfield quickly on screens and running plays and does a good job seeking out defenders to block. Taimani keeps a low center of gravity and is physical at the point of attack. He seems to understand his assignment on each play, and his film shows him being used in many different ways. Mana played left tackle in high school and looks to be a potential fit there at the college level as well.

DT Caleb Robinson

Caleb has played quite a few positions during his high school career, but it looks like he will be settling in as a defensive tackle. He is quick off the snap at the line of scrimmage and extremely physical. Robinson generates a good interior pass-rush due to his strength where he can bull rush blockers back. He also has enough speed to get by tackles and can chase runners on occasion. Caleb will need to add some weight by moving inside full-time, but that shouldn’t be an issue.

DT Gavin Meyer

Gavin is another player who is projected to play on the interior of the defensive line moving forward. On tape, he is simple to quick and agile for blockers to stick with him for more than a second or two. Meyer utilizes swim moves, and speed rushers making getting into the backfield look easy. He was a pass-rushing machine in high school, and it will be interesting to see how that translates to the next level. If Wyoming is set on him playing inside, he will need to put on weight, and that may take a year or two, but if they want him on the field sooner, he could stay at DE.

DE Cameron Smith

Cameron is another of those long, athletic players that the Cowboys are becoming known for recruiting. He is a physical pass-rusher who frequently habits the backfield thanks to a nice combination of strength and speed on the outside. Smith has a high-motor and relentlessly pursues quarterbacks on the field. His length allows him to make tackles other players can’t, and he wraps up very well. Cameron should develop into a high-quality starter for the Cowboys.

DE Braden Siders

Braden is simply a menace as an edge-rusher. He has easy, fluid game speed and wraps up with no issue on his tackles. Siders is long and strong enough to win battles against tackles on the o-line when matched up. He looks capable of playing either DE or OLB, depending on the scheme, but he should be on the d-line in Wyoming’s 4-3 system. Braden has the talent to play right away but may also benefit from adjusting to the college game.

DE Oluwaseyi Omotosho

Oluwaseyi is an intriguing player in this class coming into the defensive side of the ball. He is an athletic force on the field, possessing blazing speed and lots of length. Omotosho has ideal size for a pass-rusher and seems to have the mentality of one as well. He doesn’t let double teams or schemes built around him stand in his way getting to the QB. Oluwaseyi will need to add some muscle to withstand the college level but could put up big sack numbers during his career.

LB Brent VanderVeen

Brent is an athletic recruit, playing quarterback, wide receiver as well as on defense in high school. He displays solid game speed and has good vision on the field, as evidenced by his plays as a wildcat QB. VanderVeen is strong and agile, which should suit him at his future at linebacker, where he is slated to play in college. He tackles with great form and wraps up well. It isn’t hard to see Brent develop into an athletic and rangy linebacker in college.

LB Connor Shay

Connor is a rangy, athletic linebacker joining the Cowboy ranks. He is at his best as a Mike backer, where he takes a lead role in stopping the run as well as roaming sideline to sideline to cover the flat and short passing game. Shay reacts well after the snap and figures out where the play is going right away. He was used a bit in coverage and holds his own against tight ends or running backs with little issue. Shay’s film makes it seem like he was made to be in the Cowboys stout defensive system, where he will likely thrive after a year or two catching up the game.

DB Isaac White

Isaac is an athletic and versatile safety. He is best playing up in the box, where he can cause havoc in a variety of ways. White can step up and stop the run, as well as sit back in coverage against tight ends or running backs on underneath routes. He was a major weapon as a receiver in high school, and his play-making ability should carry over to defense at the next level. Isaac could be effective either as a safety or a SAM linebacker, and Wyoming will certainly utilize him well.

DB Wyett Ekeler

Wyett was an extremely productive high school running back but will be moving over to defensive back once he hits college. Looking for the traits that can carry over with his position change, some are easy to notice on film. Ekeler has a great burst of speed, which will help him cover the field, and he can change directions with ease, so he should be able to stick to receivers in coverage well. Looking at his defensive highlights, he goes into his backpedal well and tracks the ball in the air skillfully. Wyett will probably need a year, maybe two, to fully learn the new position, but he should see the field before too long.

DB Cameron Stone

Cameron is quite the athlete in the secondary. He has incredible speed, and it’s on full display every time he gets a pick or scoops up a fumble. Stone isn’t afraid to mix it up in the run game either, and he puts his whole body into his tackles. He has the potential to be an explosive returner and is definitely someone who should get touches on the ball despite being a defensive player. Cameron comes with a lot of talent, and if the Wyoming staff can develop him like they do so many other players, he could become one of the top players in this class by the time he leaves.

DB Keshaun Taylor

Keshaun is another defensive back for the Cowboys in this class. The first thing that jumps out on his highlight tape is how physical of a hitter he is. Taylor is at his best as a high safety who comes in to make plays, either covering routes underneath or as a run stopper. Whether run or pass coverage, he can cover a lot of ground and uses his speed to get into the right position to make a play. Keshaun will end up being one of the better players in the future secondary; it’s just a matter of time.

DB Xavier Carter

Xavier is a big-time player-maker at the cornerback spot. He is adept at man coverage where his speed and ball skills can be utilized, and he tracks the ball well in the air. Carter is especially good at tackling in space, which allows him to get involved in run support as well. He diagnoses plays well and darts his eyes between his man and the QB quickly. Xavier should have no trouble sliding in to play in Wyoming’s defense, where he will develop into a dangerous corner.

Quick Hits:

Headliner(s):

Mike: Carter, O’Brien, Meyer

Talented enough to play right away:

Mike: Carter, O’Brien, Meyer, Shay

Sleeper Recruit:

Mike: Omotosho

Best unit:

Mike: Defensive line (specifically ends)

Summary:

As stated and shown above, Wyoming took a major step forward in their recruiting, and the rankings reflect that. While they don’t necessarily have players with obvious star potential on paper, the track record of the coaching staff to develop has been proven year after year. It’s a safe bet that the trend can continue with this more talented group and put quite a strong team on the field in a few years.

Previous posts: Boise State, UNLV

Next up: San Diego State