Imagine if Austin Conway went back to the basketball team? He has
CHEYENNE – Technically, Austin Conway has one more year of eligibility remaining in football – and basketball.
Remember when Conway was a much-ballyhooed recruit out of Overland High School in Aurora, Colorado? He turned down scholarship offers from Indiana and Rice to join Larry Shyatt’s squad as a shooting guard.
He redshirted in 2015.
The following year, he played in all 14 games for the Cowboy football team, snagging 11 passes for 103 yards. He even rushed the ball 17 times for 110 yards and a touchdown. He showed his explosiveness on special teams where he returned a punt 60 yards for a score against UNLV.
Watch the first guy totally whiff:
You might recall the night in Reno when he threw a touchdown pass to Josh Allen on a reverse.
Just in case:
This guy can do it all.
But is basketball in the cards after his senior campaign on
“I can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind,” Conway said with a
grin. “I think once football is over, it’s over. (Basketball) is a long shot,
but it’s a possibility.”
“It could happen if I wanted it to and the coaches want it,” he continued. “But I really don’t want to hoop anymore. If I was ever going to do it again it would just be something to do when there’s nothing to do.”
Conway was not only a highly recruited basketball player out
of the Denver area, he turned down football scholarships from Army, Colorado,
Colorado State, Nebraska, Rice and Utah State. His dream used to be lighting up
the Arena-Auditorium, now, it’s making sure the Cowboys receiving corps puts a
dismal 2018 season as far back in the rear-view mirror as possible.
How bad was last season’s performance?
Wyoming’s 131.3 yards per game were tied with Air Force for
last in the Mountain West Conference.
“I think that has made our wide receivers very hungry,” Conway said, speaking of Raghib Ismail Jr. and John Okwoli. “We went out motivated in the spring to prove we are athletes and play makers. We want to contribute as much as we can. So far, the guys look sharp. We’ve all been putting in extra work at the JUGS machine and extra work running routes. Guys are hungry.”
Last season, Conway led the Cowboys with 32 catches for 250
yards. He caught one touchdown and rushed for another. With Allen under center
in 2017, Conway enjoyed his best season in Laramie. He hauled in 61 passes for
549 yards and three scores.
Just when the receiving corps thought it had enough on its collective shoulders, head coach Craig Bohl announced in late July that senior CJ Johnson’s career had come to an end. His knee never came around after suffering a devastating injury in the 2017 Potato Bowl.
It was a blow to the entire team, Conway said, but he has confidence that redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Chambers will have plenty of options in the passing game.
“That’s tough because CJ offered a lot of things we need as
a receiving corps: experience, speed and some big games,” Conway said. “Last
year was pretty rough. We didn’t do what we felt like we could’ve done. We left
a lot on the field and that’s frustrating, but a lot of us have another year
under our belt. We are determined to not have a repeat of last year.”
Conway is used to having decisions and options. That comes with the territory when you are one of the best athletes in your state.
Soon, he will have another one to make. Unlike high school,
however, he already has his plans laid out.
“If the opportunity is there and I’m blessed with it, yes,”
he said of the possibility of playing in the NFL next season. “But I’m more
interested in starting my business career in financial planning. My eggs have
been in that basket. NFL is Plan B, not Plan A.”
His immediate focus is obvious.
When asked what his goals are this season, Conway didn’t
hesitate. And they had nothing to do with individual accolades.
“Winning football games,” he said. “Being bowl eligible, win
a bowl, win the Mountain West. That will be a successful season for me.”
As far as basketball goes, Conway laughed.
He’s surprised people before.
“I’ll play if you can talk the coach into it,” he joked.