LARAMIE -- Colorado State recruited Logan Wilson.

They liked him, he said, until he ran his 40-yard dash at one of their summer camps. That's when they asked to see his powerful right leg.

Wilson was a placekicker and punter at Natrona County High School in Casper. He even attended Chris Sailer Kicking Camps. He was just looking for a chance. Even if that meant being a punter at the Division-I level.

"They said they could tell I was a little more of an athlete," Wilson laughed. "I decided I wanted to play a skill position in college. I was not a kicker type of guy."




The Rams coaching staff stopped calling. Craig Bohl, Wyoming's first-year head coach, didn't. He thought Wilson could play safety or cornerback at Wyoming, the positions he played in high school. That's what they told him anyway.

Since, Bohl has joked about the recruitment of Wilson. He always knew that the 6-foot, 2-inch, 250-pounder would transition to linebacker.

Despite growing up less than three hours up the road from Laramie, Wilson had never been to a Wyoming football game before.

Wait, what?

"I didn't really get to go to games very much," Wilson laughed, adding that he was busy with sports and his father's job with the Wyoming High School Athletics Association. "I had been to a couple of Broncos games, but we just never had flexibility."

That changed in the season opener in 2014. The Cowboys knocked off Montana 17-12 that day in Bohl's debut. Wilson's mind was made up.

"As a Wyoming kid, this is where you want to play," he said. "I realized what his vision was for the program. He's a guy you want to play for. He's an old-school, blue-collar coach."

During Wilson's redshirt season, the Wyoming program bottomed out. The Cowboys finished 2-10. They lost to North Dakota, and FCS team. Eastern Michigan made it two in a row. The Eagles were a Division-I bottom feeder. Rivalry games, what were those? The Cowboys got rolled by Air Force, Utah State and Colorado State that season.

That's just part of what makes this week so special for Wilson.

With a win over CSU Friday night in Laramie, Wilson will be able to stamp on his career resume that he never once lost to the Rams during his career. If the Cowboys can get past Air Force next Saturday, this senior class will become the first in the history of the school to sweep both of those teams four years straight.

"It would mean a lot," Wilson said of winning the Border War during his final game at War Memorial Stadium. "It shows how far program has come. We were part of Bohl's first true recruiting class. Those days were the lowest of the lows. Just to even be talking about this is pretty awesome. Hopefully we can cap it off."

Wilson, CSU's former kicking prospect, has developed into one of the best defensive players in program history. He's been a three-time team captain. He is No. 4 on the all-time tackles list. His four career touchdowns are tied for most in the nation among active defensive players. He is a semifinalist for the Butkus Award. That's given to the country's top linebacker. Wilson, an All-American candidate, is the only one on the list that doesn't play for a Power-5 program.

The list goes on.

Win or lose, don't be surprised if you see No. 30 hang out on the field just a little longer after the final whistle Friday night. He wants to soak it all in. The venue. The fans. The emotions of five years of work. This is the place, he said, his life changed forever.

"It will be sad," Wilson says of running out of the tunnel one last time in Laramie. "I feel like I just got here. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. There has been so many times I thought I would quit, but here I am talking to you right now.

"It's been such a fun ride. It will hit me Friday night when I'm walking out."

I asked Wilson if he could imagine coming into this game, a Rams kicker, who has gone 0-3 against his home-state team. A head shake answered that question.

He appreciates anyone who recruited him, he said, but make no mistake, this was meant to be.

"Coach Bohl has been the best thing that's ever happened to me," Wilson said. "If I am blessed enough to have the opportunity to continue on with my football career, all the credit goes to him for giving me a chance."