2021 Football Recruiting Headquarters: Pokes set to ink 17
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl likes to invite potential recruits to early fall home games inside War Memorial Stadium.
He wants those guys to feel the passion of a big crowd, see a bustling campus, littered with brown and gold, and of course, catch some of that warm weather before it's too late.
None of that happened this year.
COVID-19 forced coaches around the country into "dead periods" of recruiting. There were no official visits, just Zoom calls and virtual tours of the university and football facilities.
"We think we're in a really good position," Bohl said last week about the 2021 class. "It's been a challenging year for us. Typically we would be heavy on senior evaluations, spending most of our time on planes or on sidelines some place. We haven't been able to do that at all."
Regardless of the circumstances, Bohl and Co. are set to ink at least 17 new players during Wednesday's early signing day.
Yeah, Bohl doesn't care much about those. If you do, 15 of the newest Cowboys feature a couple of stars by their names.
Bohl said he wanted to find some safeties and cornerbacks in this class. Defensive tackle and running backs, he said, are a "significant area of concern, which we are addressing."
Here's the simple breakdown of this group:
- One running back, Jordon Vaughn of Manvel, Texas
- Two defensive tackles, Will Evans of Houston, Texas and JJ Uphold of Bakersfield, Calif.
- One wide receiver, Jaylen Sargent of Logan, Utah
- Two offensive lineman, Jack Walsh (Illinois) and Caden Barnett (Texas)
- Six defensive backs, including Cheyenne's Andrew Johnson, the lone local recruit in this class
- Zero quarterbacks
- Six of the 16 recruits come from the Lone Star State
- Nebraska features three players, Illinois two
- Only one recruit from Colorado
Bohl signed 19 players a season ago. Wyoming already has a small senior class -- just 11 -- and because of the ongoing pandemic, the NCAA has granted all of them an additional year of eligibility.
Bohl said he has spoken with the seniors, but did not divulge how many are staying in the program. Wide receiver Ayden Eberhardt is the lone Cowboy to publicly announce his intentions to return next fall.
That means Wyoming can exceed the 85-player limit in 2021, but the trick will be getting back down to that number the following season.
"Initially, coaches were like, 'wow, this is Christmas come early. We have extra guys and people out there got all these high school commitments. Wait a minute -- we have to get down to 85,"' Bohl said. "Roster management will have a real science involved."
Wyoming can still sign players on the traditional signing day in February.
So, who are these new crop of Cowboys?
Below, you will find bios, interviews, videos and stories about the entire class of 2021. Check back with 7220sports.com throughout the day as we continue to update the latest news out of Laramie.
Bohl is set to speak with the media at 3 p.m. MST.
Signing Day Updates
UPDATE: 6:31 a.m. MST -- Nine new Wyoming Cowboys have already signed on the dotted line. Sam Scott, Kolbey Taylor, Wrook Brown, John Michael Gyllenborg, Jack Walsh, Tommy Wroblewski, Will Evans, Jordon Vaughn and Micah Young.
UPDATE: 6:37 a.m. MST -- Add two more to the list. Caden Barnett and Tyce Westland are officially Cowboys.
UPDATE: 6:46 a.m. MST -- Tommy McEvoy, a linebacker from Dodge, Nebraska, just signed his letter of intent. That brings the total to 12 by 7 a.m.
UPDATE: 7:04 a.m. MST -- Illinois corner back Jovan Marsh signs his NLI.
UPDATE: 7:08 a.m. MST -- The Cowboys lone in-state signee, Andrew Johnson, is official.
UPDATE: 7:32 a.m. MST -- Unless there are some unexpected surprises, I believe the Cowboys are waiting on signatures from Zaire Jackson (CB -- Colorado), JJ Uphold (DT - California) and Jaylen Sargent (WR -- Utah). It's still really early in the day. I spoke with Sargent, but have not been in contact with Uphold or Jackson.
UPDATE: 8:44 a.m. MST -- Uphold just inked with the Pokes.
UPDATE: 8:53 a.m. MST -- Jackson just sent in his NLI.