* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowboy football team opens spring practice on Tuesday afternoon under first-year head coach Jay Sawvel.

The Cowboys bring a back a whole host of players with eight starters back on defense with seven on offense and one special teamer. In total the Brown and Gold welcomes back 48 letterwinners.

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The Cowboys will practice 15 times in the spring including the annual spring game on Saturday, April 27 at 1 p.m. at Cheyenne East High School.


A Look at the Offense

All-Conference Returners on Offense/Special Teams: Wyoming has five offensive and special teams players returning who earned All-Mountain West Conference recognition in 2023.

Harrison Waylee, Senior, RB

Phil Steele, Second Team

MW Football Coaches and Media, Honorable Mention

Jack Walsh, Junior, OG

Pro Football Focus, First Team

Phil Steele, Third Team


Top Returners for 2024 on Offense/Special Teams: The top returners for the Cowboys in 2024 include the following players:

Alex Brown, Senior, WR 39 Career Games

John Hoyland, Senior, PK 45 Career Games

Dawaiian McNeely, Senior, RB 26 Career Games

Evan Svoboda., Junior, QB 10 Career Games

Nofoafia Tulafono, Senior, C 36 Career Games

John Michael Gyllenborg, Junior, TE 25 Career Games

Will Pelissier, Graduate, WR 29 Career Games

Harrison Waylee, Senior, RB 32 Career Games, 10 at UW

Sam Scott, Junior, RB 35 Career Games

Devin Boddie, Jr., Junior, RB 32 Career Games, 13 at UW

Jack Walsh, Junior, OG 23 Career Games

Caden Barnett, Junior, OT 23 Career Games

Luke Sandy, Sophomore, OG 13 Career Games

Wes King, Sophomore, OG 13 Career Games


Transfer Additions: Scholarship transfer players who are joining the Wyoming offense in 2024 include:

Alex Conn, Junior, OT Previous school: Iowa Western

D.J. Jones, Graduate, RB Previous school: North Carolina

Tyler King, Sophomore, WR Previous school: Texas Tech


Returning Statistical Leaders: Wyoming’s top statistical returners from last year include:

Alex Brown, Senior, WR 8 catches, 106 yards

John Hoyland, Senior, PK 13 Made field goals, 56-yard long

Evan Svoboda., Junior, QB 200 yards passing, 80 rushing

John Michael Gyllenborg, Junior, TE 23 catches for 360 yards and three TD

Will Pelissier, Graduate, WR 7 catches for 79 yards and one TD

Harrison Waylee, Senior, RB 947 yards rushing, 94.7 per game, 5 TD

Sam Scott, Junior, RB 237 yards rushing, 11 catches for 77 yards


Key Losses: The key losses for the Wyoming offense are:

Ayir Asante, Graduate, WR Graduated

Frank Crum, Senior, OT Graduated

Ryan Marquez, Senior, WR Graduated

Andrew Peasley, Senior, QB Graduated

Treyton Welch, Senior, TE Graduated

Wyatt Wieland, Senior, WR Graduated


Career Notes on Offensive Returners

• Running back Harrison Waylee has rushed for 2,876 yards in his career with 15 touchdowns

• Waylee ranked 17th last season in active rushers in career rushing yards. He ranked No. 24 in the nation in rushing yards per game at 94.7

• Tight end John Michael Gyllenborg recorded the longest touchdown reception of the season for the Pokes with an 89-yard score against Hawaii.

• Wyoming returns most of the offensive line with the only loss being tackle Frank Crum. Nofofia Tulofono has played in 36 career games with Caden Barnett and Jack Walsh each playing 23 games. The group was on the Mid-Season Watch List for the Joe Moore Award, which goes to the best offensive line in the nation.


A Look at the Defense

All-Conference Returners on Defense: Wyoming has four defensive players returning who have earned All-Mountain West Conference recognition during the 2023 season. Those players are:

Jordan Bertagnole, Junior, DT

Phil Steele, First Team

Mountain West Coaches and Media, Second Team

Gavin Meyer, Senior, NT

Pro Football Focus, First Team

Phil Steele, Fourth Team

Sabastian Harsh, Junior, DE

Phil Steele, Third Team

Shae Suiaunoa, Graduate, DLB

Phil Steele, Third Team

Wyett Ekeler, Senior, DB

Phil Steele, Third Team

Mountain West Coaches and Media, Honorable Mention


Top Returners for 2023 on Defense: The top returners for the Cowboy defense in 2024 include the following players:

Jordan Bertagnole, Graduate, DT 43 Career Games

Wrook Brown, Junior, Nickel 25 Career Games

Tyrecus Davis, Senior, CB 9 Career Games

Wyett Ekeler, Senior, SS 39 Career Games

Gavin Meyer, Senior, NT 35 Career Games

DeVonne Harris, Graduate, DE 43 Career Games

Sabastian Harsh, Junior, DE 25 Career Games

Braden Siders, Junior, DE 25 Career Games

Shae Suiaunoa, Graduate, LB 47 Career Games

Isaac White, Senior, FS 40 Career Games


Transfer Additions: Scholarship transfer players who are joining the Wyoming defense in 2024 include:

Evan Eller, Graduate, LB Previous school: Virgina Military Institute


Returning Statistical Leaders: Wyoming’s top statistical returners from last year include:

Jordan Bertagnole, Graduate, DT 60 tackles, 5.5 TFL’s, 2 Sacks

Tyrecus Davis, Senior, CB 27 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 INT

Wyett Ekeler, Senior, SS 77 tackles, 5.5 TFL’s, 2 INT, 7 PBU

DeVonne Harris, Graduate, DE 35 Tackles, 4 TFL’s, 4 Sacks

Sabastian Harsh, Junior, DE 50 tackles, 9 TFL’s, 3 Sacks

Gavin Meyer, Senior, NT 26 tackles, 3.5 TFL’s, 1 blocked kick

Braden Siders, Junior, DE 26 tackles, 5 TFL’s, 4 Sacks

Shae Suiaunoa, Graduate, LB 93 tackles, 5.5 TFL’s, 2.5 Sacks

Isaac White, Senior, FS 61 Tackles, 1 INT, 7 PBU


Key Losses: The key losses for the Wyoming defense from last season include:

Easton Gibbs, Senior, LB Graduated

Cole Godbout, Graduate, NT Graduated

Jakorey Hawkins, Senior, CB Graduated


Career Notes on Defensive Returners

• Defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole has recorded 23 tackle for loss in his career along with 10.5 sacks.

• Defensive ends DeVonne Harris and Sabastian Harsh along with Braden Siders have combined for 25 sacks with 12 from Harris, 10 from Siders and three from Harsh.

• Safeties Wyett Ekeler and Isaac White have combined for 313 career tackles. White has 162 with Ekeler adding 151.

• Linebacker Shae Suiaunoa has 179 for his career with the Cowboys. He is behind Bertagnole’s 180 for his UW career.


Open Practices on April 6 and April 13

Fans will get an opportunity to see the Cowboys in person with a pair of open practices alongside the spring game. The first open practice will be set for an 11 a.m. start, a youth football clinic will be held prior to practice at 10 a.m. Open practice on the April 13 time will be announced prior to the practice.


Youth Clinic on April 6

Join Cowboy Football on Saturday, April 6th for a FREE youth clinic. The clinic is open to all kids ages 6-12. The clinic will start at 10 AM and run for 45 minutes before the Cowboys practice. Check-in will start at 9:15 AM. Stick around after the clinic to watch the Cowboys practice! Want to bring more than 5 kids to the clinic? Email athleticsmarketing@uwyo.edu to get all the kids on the list!

Schedule of Events

9:15 AM - Check-in for clinic begins
10:00 AM - Youth Clinic
11:00 AM - Cowboy Football Practice (Open to the public)

GALLERY: Wyoming Football's NFL Pro Day

Nearly 30 NFL franchises were on hand March 19 in Laramie to watch 10 Wyoming football players go through drills during the school's annual pro day. Defensive standouts Easton Gibbs, Jakorey Hawkins, Cole Godbout and Deron Harrell took part in the combine-style workout. So did offensive stars Andrew Peasley, Frank Crum, Ayir Asante, Colin O'Brien and Treyton Welch. NFL personnel also got a close look at Wyoming punter Clayton Stewart.

Gallery Credit: DJ Johnson photos

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