LARAMIE -- "I think we’re going to be as deep there with playmakers and with as a diversified group of players as we’ve had since I’ve been our head coach.

"I think we’ve really got some good weapons there.”   

Those are the words of Wyoming's seventh-year head coach Craig Bohl. The group he's talking about?

The tight ends.

One would think that's an odd statement considering the players at that position on the current roster have accounted for nine catches, 127 yards and two touchdowns.

Actually, those are just Jackson Marcotte's stats.

Nate Weinman's goal in 2020 is to change all of that.

The junior from Creston, Ohio, is heading into his fourth season in the Wyoming football program. He has blocked for the leading rusher in the Mountain West two years in a row. He has a pair of bowl championship rings.

He's still missing one thing though -- a catch.

"I just want to get my first pass reception, get my nerves out and catch a bunch more for the Pokes," the 6-foot, 7-inch, 267-pound Weinman joked Wednesday over a Zoom call with reporters.


Nate Weinman (second from left) poses for a photo with offensive linemen Keegan Cryder (from left), Rudy Stofer and Logan Harris after knocking off Missouri 37-31 in the 2019 season opener at War Memorial Stadium.

In 2018, Weinman played in nine games in a reserve role behind future NFL pass catchers Tyree Mayfield and Austin Fort. Last season, Weinman and Marcotte, dubbed the "Twin Towers," were supposed to be the featured tight ends, providing big targets for young quarterback Sean Chambers.

It didn't quite play out that way.

You saw Marcotte's stats above. He caught everything thrown his way, including a quick out that ended with him lying on the turf with a torn ACL in Logan, Utah.

Josh Harshman, a fifth-year senior in 2019, became the go-to outlet for Chambers, Tyler Vander Waal and Levi Williams. He caught 20 passes for 264 yards and a pair of scores.

Weinman, well, let's just say he was hampered.

During the week leading up to the San Diego State game, Weinman went at it with a defensive tackle in practice. There was a "pop" in his left thumb.

"It broke part of my thumb and tore two ligaments," he said.

Enter "the club."

Weinman was forced to play the remainder of the season with a large, bandaged up cast on his left hand. Not exactly ideal for a guy who is supposed to earn his keep catching passes, among other duties.

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When big No. 84 entered the huddle, you could bet the quarterback would be putting the ball in the belly of a tailback.

That was perfectly fine with him.

"Blocking is a huge part of our offense, and if that is what the team needs me to do I’ll do that," he said. 

Bohl has praised that group throughout fall camp. Treyton Welch, a sophomore from Minnesota, has impressed. Thought Marcotte is coming back from that knee injury, Bohl said he has picked up right where he left off last year, too.

Weinman "has done some good things," according to the coach. So has incoming junior college transfer, Colin O'Brien.

The first-team reps have been spread around, Weinman said Wednesday. He also mentioned a word that should be music to the ears of Wyoming fans all over the globe -- "balance."

"I think you’ll see a lot more of the passing game this year," he said. "We’re running a lot more pass plays in practice and adding in more plays for the tight ends and the receivers."

With a set of healthy hands, Weinman laughed when asked about his exclusive role as a blocker.

"... I’d also like to catch some passes, too."

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