Neyor joins exclusive century mark club
LARAMIE -- What do Tyree Mayfield, CJ Johnson and Isaiah Neyor all have in common?
They were the last pass catchers in a Wyoming uniform to eclipse the 100-yard receiving mark.
That's the good news.
Johnson snagged 106 yards worth of passes in 2017. Mayfield racked up 112 in a win over Air Force in 2018.
Until Neyor pulled down three passes for 102 yards last Saturday night in Reno, it had been 707 days since a Wyoming receiver had accomplished that feat.
The 6-foot, 3-inch redshirt freshman leaped over a pair of defenders to haul in a 45-yard pass from Levi Williams late in the first quarter of the Cowboys' 37-34 overtime loss to Nevada.
Late in the third, Neyor snagged a 34-yard strike.
Williams said that was the play that changed the entire complexion of the game. With the Cowboys trailing 28-6, Wyoming reeled off three straight touchdown drives to tie the game.
"Neyor made the corner spin around. It was a big 34-yard gain. A big shift," Williams said. "It showed we can move the ball in the passing game, which should help the running game. Like I said though, it should've been like that the whole game."
It wasn't. But that's not the point.
For the first time in nearly two seasons, it appears the Cowboys have a legitimate deep threat in Neyor.
"We worked on that all week in practice," Neyor said about the grab above, his first collegiate catch. "Coaches always talk about performing in the moment. I saw the ball in the air and coaches say attack the football. I had the opportunity to do that."
At Lamar High School in Arlington, Texas, Neyor was a 6A second-team All-State performer. He caught 39 passes for 858 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl has sang the praises of Neyor during the Cowboys' modified fall camp.
"He really had some nice catches Saturday," Bohl said of Wyoming's lone scrimmage. "Isaiah was a young receiver last year, but he’s been emerging in practice and he made three or four big-time catches. He has a great catch radius, and so we’re pleased with his progress."
The Pokes have plenty of weapons on the outside.
Ayden Eberhardt, Gunner Gentry and Dontae Crow are all returners with plenty of playing time under their belts. In 2019, UW's receiving corps was led by Raghib Ismail Jr. and Austin Conway. Both of those guys come in around 6-feet tall.
That's the big difference -- size.
And Neyor isn't the only one.
All Texas products, Alex Brown, Joshua Cobbs and Devin Jennings are all 6-foot, 2-inches or taller.
“It’s been good. They (freshmen) have been able to get in and get some reps,” Eberhardt said. “If you look at our roster, our wide receiver group has some experienced guys in me, Gunner and Dontae and, from there, we’ve got the boys from Texas who are a little bit younger and don’t have as much experience.
"It’s been nice to be able to teach them and also to watch them grow into the receivers they are now.”
Wyoming has a rich history of wide receiver talent.
Marcus Harris won the Biletnikoff Trophy as the nation's top wide out in 1996. Ryan Yarborough was the country's best receiver in the early 90's. Jovon Bouknight, Ryan McGuffey, Tanner Gentry, and many others, litter the Cowboys' history books.
For Neyor and this current crop of Pokes, putting together a complete game is the first task to check off the list. That chance comes Friday night when the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors visit War Memorial Stadium.
"We started off a little slow," Neyor said of the Nevada loss. "Some things needed to be fixed as the game progressed. We needed to get back in rhythm. We performed well, but we need to clean up some things and we'll have a good thing going on."