CHEYENNE – After Rome Weber signed his letter of intent to join the University of Wyoming football program in December of 2017, Gordie Haug thanked a higher power.

“That was one guy we were praying would sign here,” Wyoming’s
running backs coach and director of player personnel told the media that day.

Monday evening, Weber showed why he was worth the
invocation.

The redshirt freshman vaulted to the top of the Cowboys’ depth chart at the free safety position, overtaking junior Braden Smith, who has been battling a hamstring injury throughout fall camp.

Weber will be the opening day starter when Missouri comes to
town Aug. 31.

Oh, and Sunday was Weber’s birthday.

His present is taking over a position that Marcus Epps solidified over the past four seasons. Epps is now a member of the Minnesota Vikings after being selected in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Weber isn’t putting that kind of pressure on himself yet,
instead, he’s taking the day-at-a-time approach.

And so far, it’s obviously worked.

“I think I just have to keep getting better,” he said. “I
can’t take a day off. I need to learn every day.”

The Cowboys’ staff put in overtime to land the two-star
recruit out of San Bernardino, Calif.

Craig Bohl met with Weber at his southern California home. Weber’s parents were in Las Vegas that day. So, what did Wyoming’s head coach do?

He jumped in his rental car and hit Interstate-15, making
three-plus hour drive to Sin City to give his sale’s pitch.

UW’s cornerbacks’ coach, John Richardson, stayed behind to have dinner with Weber and his grandparents.

“That meant a lot to me,” Weber said. “In the recruiting
process, that’s the only team to do something like that. That pushed me here
made me feel wanted.”

Army, Colorado State, San Jose State, Montana State, Utah
State and Yale all had an eye on the 5-foot, 11-inch, 186-pound defensive back
from Cajon High School. Wyoming stumbled upon Weber at a USC football camp.

They weren’t letting this one go.

“He had a lot of pressure late from schools,” Haug mentioned
during his introduction of Weber in 2017. “… He brings a lot of athleticism to
the secondary."

Wyoming rolled out the red carpet for Weber during his
visit.

Despite having his name in lights on the Jumbotron and showing
him all the bells and whistles of the program’s new digs like the High Altitude
Performance Center, Weber said, in the end, he was sold by the players.

“I went in the locker room and everyone was together like a
family,” he said. “It was like high school everyone was hanging out and having
fun.”

Weber got into three games for the Cowboys last fall. He didn’t record any statistics, but he did get a major dose of reality. It was something his father, Jerome Weber, warned him about.

And his dad would know – he played college football at Texas
A&M.

“The speed was different,” Weber laughed. “The first game I
got in I was nervous. On the first play a dude ran right past me. I was able to
calm down a little bit after that. Now, I know what to expect.”

Weber said that brief audition prepared him for what was to
come in spring ball. That, he said, transferred right into fall camp. Weber put
on 15 pounds in the offseason to pack more punch. He noticed his speed has
increased, too.

He’s not the only one.

“He has been making plays and really came out and played
well,” Bohl said Monday evening after the Cowboys’ depth chart was announced. “Those
positions are typically tough to evaluate in practice because you don’t know
(until you get in a scrimmage) can a guy make a play in a contested situation,
whether he’s making a play on an open-field tackle or going up for the ball,
and he answered the bell on that.”

Weber said he tries to lean on his father daily. When you have a guy with major Division-I experience at your disposal, why not?

Weber knows he has that advantage but added that his father offers more guidance than anything.

“He told me it would be a challenge,” Weber said. “Even from
when I was little, he would tell me to keep my head right, to keep trying.”