Linebacker Shae Suiaunoa to Return for Final Season at Wyoming
LARAMIE -- It was a sentimental moment.
With 12:40 remaining in the third quarter, Hawaii quarterback Brayden Schager was engulfed. The loss was 15 yards. That came courtesy of Shae Suiaunoa and Easton Gibbs, two Wyoming linebackers who were thought to be playing their final game together inside War Memorial Stadium.
Gibbs announced Wednesday he would forgo his final season in Laramie. Roughly 24 hours later, Suiaunoa also made an official statement -- "One more year."
The Cowboys weakside linebacker shared a photo on social media with those three words above. The Houston-area product will return for a fifth season on the high plains.
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Suiaunoa, who has been a starter over the previous two seasons, had his best-statistical year in 2023, tallying 93 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks, an interception and a pair of pass breakups.
That's 20 more stops than Suiaunoa recorded during the entire 2022 season. According to coaches, he missed 21 tackles that year. A mid-season labrum tear in his shoulder didn't exactly help.
"He is very self-aware," former Wyoming linebackers coach Aaron Bohl said back in June. "You know, you talk to him and he doesn't give himself enough credit for the things he does well. He's working hard at it. Every year he has been here, he's had substantial growth. I'm excited for him this next year and expect a huge growth in that area."
Will Suiaunoa make the move to the middle, replacing Gibbs? Will he remain on the outside? Who slides in next to him, Cole DeMarzo or Connor Shay?
Either way, this is a huge offseason acquisition for a defense that will now be led by Bohl, his former position coach.
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