Monday news & notes
LARAMIE -- Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl touches on a number of subjects surrounding his football team every Monday afternoon during the season.
In this new weekly feature, we will throw out all the quick hitters he tosses at the media for your consumption.
Bohl, who begins his seventh campaign in Laramie this Saturday at Nevada, chatted with reporters for nearly 18 minutes today.
Here's some things we learned:
- The quarterback situation has been solved. Well, kind of. Sean Chambers will get the start at Nevada, but Levi Williams will see plenty of playing time, too. Chambers is 9-2 as a starter and was under center in last season's opener against Missouri. Williams quarterbacked the Pokes in the Arizona Bowl, tossing three touchdown passes and rushing for another.
- The initial depth chart was released Monday and some new names have risen to the top. On offense, Treyton Welch was named the No. 1 tight end, while Sheridan's Parker Christensen slid into the top spot at the fullback position.
- The defense is another story all together. The Cowboys will begin life after Logan Wilson, Tyler Hall, Cassh Maluia, Alijah Halliburton and Josiah Hall this Saturday in Reno. Here are the new faces in familiar places: Jaylen Pate will slide in at the defensive end spot, while Charles Hicks takes over for Maluia at outside linebacker. Wyoming also welcomes back Ravontae Holt on the defensive front. Holt tore his ACL in fall camp a season ago. Chad Muma, one of the Pokes' four captains, will line up at middle linebacker, and as expected, Esaias Gandy and Braden Smith will be the new safeties.
- The Pokes have remained fairly healthy through camp, according to Bohl. A lingering foot injury, however, will sideline Garrett Crall in Week 1. The senior defensive end, who was named one of four team captains Saturday, has not fully healed from an offseason surgery. Bohl said he hopes to have Crall back by the Cowboys' home opener Oct. 30 against Hawaii. Crall said he is "week to week."
- Cooper Rothe's replacement has finally been revealed. The new placekicker will be Luke Glassock, a redshirt freshman from Buffalo. He beat out Nick Null, a graduate transfer from Cornell. Null will handle kickoff and punt duties.
- Here are a couple of guys that rarely get any love -- the holder and the long snapper. Jesse Hooper, the guy who fired all those snaps back to the program's all-time leading scorer, Rothe, retired in the offseason. Nick Szpor was a senior a year ago. The new holder will be Ryan Marquez and the next snapper will be Read Sunn.
- Five. That's how many players from the state of Wyoming are listed atop the depth chart. That's Glassock (PK), Christensen (FB), Dontae Crow (PR), Logan Harris (RG) and Frank Crum (RT).
- The wide receiver group has grown -- literally and physically. There is not one player on the current depth chart listed under 6 feet, 2 inches. That should only help the Cowboys young signal callers, Bohl said.
- Don't be at all surprised if Wyoming implements a strict two-running back system in Reno. Bohl said the team plans to "ride" Xazavian Valladay, and that Trey Smith will spell him when needed. Bohl knows other running backs will get their chance throughout the season, but added that this game belongs to those two -- if all goes according to plan.
- Alonzo Velasquez, the Cowboys' starting right tackle was injured weeks ago during a walk-through, tearing a labrum in his shoulder. That's a big loss, according to offensive coordinator Brent Vigen, but luckily for him, the Pokes have plenty of reserves on the front five. Zach Watts, Blayne Baker, Marco Machado and Latrell Bible, who coaches have raved about this fall, all have extensive playing time under their belts. The new guy is Mason Schultz. He redshirted in 2019.
- Bohl, like usual, heaped praise on this week's opponent. He singled out sophomore quarterback Carson Strong, who finished last season with 2,335 yards passing and 11 touchdowns. Bohl also mentioned the duo of wide receiver threats the Wolf Pack have in Elijah Cooks (76 catches, 926 yards and eight touchdowns) and Romeo Doubs (44 catches, 649 yards and four touchdowns). The Cowboy staff said Nevada is a veteran group and also has a hammer in the backfield in Toa Taua, who racked up 807 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 2019.
Stay tuned to 7220sports.com for stories and analysis throughout the week. Wyoming and Nevada are scheduled to kickoff the season Saturday at 5 p.m. (MST) from Mackay Stadium.
Here is the Cowboys' Week 1 depth chart: