LAS VEGAS, Nev., -- Brent Brennan wasn't happy to see Malik Williams sign with the University of Wyoming in the 2020 recruiting class.

The former three-star offensive tackle grew up in Hayward, Calif., just 27 miles up the road from San Jose.

"I was upset when he got out of the bay the first time," the Spartans' sixth-year head coach said Wednesday at Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas. "I was really upset."

Get our free mobile app

Not only did Brennan lose a player he coveted to a conference foe, it was a pattern that was becoming troublesome. Craig Bohl and the Cowboys were having a little too much success snagging prospects out of Northern California.

Wyoming has 19 players on its current roster from that state, six of which come from SJSU's main hunting grounds.

 

MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS:

* Swen named to Doak Walker Award preseason watch list 

* Cowboys picked fifth in Mountain Division

* Wyoming's Gunner Gentry eager to make plays, mentor young WR's

* 5 questions heading into Mountain West Media Days

 

Williams spent two seasons in Laramie before entering the NCAA Transfer Portal this offseason. First, he landed at Contra Costa College. That is until July 9 when Brennan got another crack at the 6-foot-4, 276-pound redshirt freshman.

"It's cool," Brennan said with a grin. "He's coming back and he is so excited. His family is excited. He's from right up the street, which I like. He's back with his family and all that stuff. He's someone that we wanted out of high school."

There's something else Brennan likes about his new lineman. Where he got his introduction to college football.

"To me, it's a win-win because he's played for a really good team," he said about Wyoming. "He's used to physicality and running the football, which I like."

Something Brennan isn't too fond of? Bohl and Co. having so much success in his backyard.

That staff has inked recent Northern California products like Carl Granderson (Sacramento), Ravontae Holt (Sacramento), Tyler Vander Waal (Elk Grove), Sean Chambers (Kerman), Victor Jones (Sacramento) and some guy named Josh Allen (Firebaugh).

Brennan went back even further.

Austyn Carta-Samuels, a quarterback who threw for 3,655 yards and 19 touchdowns in two seasons in Laramie and led the Cowboys to a 35-28 double-overtime victory over Fresno State in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl, was once a SJSU recruit.

Brennan's recruit, to be specific.

A person in this very Mandalay Bay ballroom was partially responsible for that loss. UNLV head coach Marcus Arroyo, a former SJSU quarterback, urged Carta-Samuels to join him at his new gig in Laramie where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach under Dave Christensen.

Brennan admits UW has done a good job coaxing players to the High Plains. Too good. But now the Spartan's head man feels like that sales job is becoming more difficult.

"I think they do a good job. I would tell you, we've probably made it harder on them and it wasn't in the past," he said, pointing to his staff, which is loaded with California natives. "Hopefully we've made that harder, but it all comes down to evaluation ... In my opinion, Wyoming has done as good a job of that as anybody."

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players