Laramie has become a breeding ground for NFL talent. Here’s why
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl wasn't about to text Carson Wentz and rib him about his interception midway through the first quarter of last Sunday's tie with the visiting Bengals.
You might have heard by now, but the guy who picked off Bohl's former first-round quarterback from North Dakota State was none other than Logan Wilson -- the coach's latest third-round selection.
Here's visual proof:
None of this revolves around Wentz's gaffe, of course, but the fact that Wyoming's head coach has former players littered throughout the NFL.
On Sunday, 15 former Cowboys were on active rosters. Those don't all belong to Bohl, but they belong to his program.
How is he getting all these guys to the next level? Especially when they are produced at a pair of schools that most wouldn't consider pro-football factories?
That answer is simple.
"We're a developmental program," Bohl said Monday night over a Zoom call with the media. "We've been provided the opportunity to recruit the right guys who want to take advantage of what we're doing in our program."
With all this unwanted off time thanks to the pandemic, Bohl said he has watched more NFL football than ever. He highlighted his former UW quarterback, Josh Allen.
It's easy to see why.
Buffalo's third-year signal caller has 10 touchdown passes to go along with 1,038 passing yards in the first three games of the season. He has also rushed for a pair of scores, too. Â
"I've really been encouraged by Josh's performance," Bohl said.
Last fall, Wentz and Allen squared off in a Week 7 showdown. It was dubbed locally as the "Bohl Game."
I asked Bohl back then if he was rooting for either one of his former QBs in that one. He said "no," but he wouldn't tell me even if he did.
Truth is, he was proud.
He has every right to be, too.
Since he stepped foot in Laramie in 2014, Bohl has seen nine of his players drafted.
Those guys include Allen, Wilson, Marcus Epps, Cassh Maluia, Brain Hill, Chase Roullier, Mark Nzeocha, Marqueston Huff and Robert Herron.
Others, including Rico Gafford, Carl Granderson, Tyler Hall, Austin Fort, Eddie Yarbrough, Jacob Hollister and Andrew Wingard, have found success despite going undrafted.
"The NFL is not a perfect group, but they do a pretty darn good job of vetting the best players," Bohl said. "So, we're really proud of the guys who have played here for us."
Bohl agreed that having that much visibility, plus showing that his program can vault you to football's highest level, has aided in recruiting.
That's not all.
Bohl spoke about the university's facilities, nutrition program and strength and conditioning. He also focused on his style of play. You know, when a quarterback actually takes snaps under center.
That's part of why it's called a pro-style offense. Pro is short for professional.
Bohl's players have also gained a reputation.
"What (NFL) clubs also know is that if a guy is going to come through our program, they're going to learn how to work hard and be very focused," he said. "That is where our players draft stock has gone up and their chance of getting in camps as free agents has improved."
Bohl's Sunday afternoons will soon be filled with watching game film and breaking down the next opponent with his staff. That's the way he prefers it.
But there's zero doubt that he will keep tabs on his guys.
"If you go down the list of our guys playing and making an impact most of them weren't heavily recruited," he said. "They're a by-product of doing things the Wyoming Way -- coming in and working hard and being developed into becoming better."