LARAMIE -- No other state has been more of a recruiting hotbed for the University of Wyoming than Colorado.

This list will prove that.

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Numerous UW Hall of Famers, NFL stars and program record holders began their football journey in that square to the south. The Cowboys' top rival, Colorado State, overlooked plenty of these guys. So did CU. Air Force even whiffed a time or two.

Some just flat out picked Laramie over Fort Collins, Boulder and Colorado Springs.

This summer, with the help of some longtime Wyoming football followers, we will count down the Top 25 Colorado products in program history. As always, what these guys did in professional football doesn't matter. This is all about production in Laramie.


Former UW safety John Salley shown here wearing the look of the late 70's and early 80's. The Cowboys wore a gold helmet in those days. Like, Colorado Buffs gold./ UW courtesy photo
Former UW safety John Salley shown here wearing the look of the late 70's and early 80's. The Cowboys wore a gold helmet in those days. Like, Colorado Buffs gold./ UW courtesy photo

No. 15 - John Salley

Safety, 1979-82, Lakewood, Colorado


Résumé in Laramie

John Salley was a sledgehammer out of the Wyoming secondary in the early 80's, tallying 379 tackles during his four-year stint in Laramie. When he left campus in 1982, Salley was the proud owner of the most tackles in school history. His 143 tackles during his senior season is second-most all-time to this day behind only Galand Thaxton. He's currently fifth all-time in the history of Wyoming tacklers behind Thaxton (467), Andrew Wingard (454), Jim Talich (440) and Logan Wilson (421). Despite playing for three different head coaches -- Bill Lewis, Pat Dye and Al Kincaid -- Salley was a model of consistency during a time of uncertainty. The Lakewood, Colo., product was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference Team in 1980. Salley was selected in the 11th round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.


About Lakewood

A suburb of Denver, Lakewood is home to more than 155,000 residents. Located in Jefferson County, this is the fifth-most populated city in the state. Einstein Bros., FirstBank and The Integer Group are all headquartered in Lakewood. Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick is from there. So is professional wrestler Steve "Dr. Death" Williams and College Football Hall of Famer Joe Romig.



Pokes Football: Best of Colorado series:

No. 25

No. 24

No. 23

No. 22

No. 21

No. 20

No. 19

No. 18

No. 17

No. 16 


Pokes Football: Best of Wyoming series

(Cody Tucker and Jared Newland both work for Townsquare Media, which owns Kevin McKinney has been a color commentator of Cowboy football for five decades. Ryan Thorburn now works for the University of Wyoming in a sports information role after spending decades in the newspaper industry, most recently at the Casper Star-Tribune. Sally Ann Shurmur, the daughter of former UW football coach Fritz Shurmur, is also a veteran of the newspaper industry, working as a journalist, columnist at the CST for 43 years. She currently writes for Cowboy State Daily.)

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 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

Gallery Credit:

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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