LARAMIE -- It's officially "series season."

This summer, with the help of some longtime Wyoming football followers, we will count down the Top 25 homegrown products in program history.

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As always, what these guys did in professional football doesn't matter. This is all about production in Laramie. A couple of the guys on this final list may not have been born here, but they grew up in Wyoming and graduated from an in-state high school.

Once we put a bow on these selections, we'll move on to other states like Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, etc. You get the picture:


Former Wyoming running back Jerry Hill is our selection for the best homegrown player in Cowboy football history./ UW courtesy photo
Former Wyoming running back Jerry Hill is our selection for the best homegrown player in Cowboy football history./ UW courtesy photo

No. 1 - Jerry Hill

Running back, 1958-60, Lingle, Wyoming


Résumé in Laramie

Jerry Hill was named the Wyoming Football Player of the 20th Century during fan balloting in 1992, according to his Hall of fame plaque. He received the call to the hall the following year, becoming one of the first players in Cowboy history to be enshrined, joining names like Jay NovacekMike DirksFennis DemboKenny Sailors and others in that inaugural class. That right there shows his importance to Cowboy football. Hill's Cowboys went 25-6 during his three-year stint in Laramie and claimed a 14-6 Sun Bowl victory over Hardin-Simmons after going 8-3 in 1958. The '59 UW team pitched four shutouts and held its opponents to seven points or less in eight games while going 9-1. They didn't receive a postseason invite. The Lingle product never lost a game to rivals BYU or Colorado State. Hill claimed back-to-back All-Skyline Conference honors during his final two seasons on campus. He also led the team in rushing and scoring, tallying 86 points. Hill was also an honorable mention All-American in those two seasons. He finished his career with 1,374 rushing yards on 288 carries. Hill was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts in 1961. He was also taken by the Denver Broncos in the AFL Draft. They took him in Round 2. Hill eventually signed with the Colts and played eight seasons for the franchise, winning a Super Bowl in 1971. He is still eight on the team's all-time rushing list with 2,668 yards.


About Lingle

Home to less than 500 residents, Lingle is a rural farming, ranching town in Goshen County. A stone's throw from Torrington and Fort Laramie, the famous Oregon Trail runs right past this "small but proud" community.


Pokes Football: Best of Wyoming series

* No. 25

* No. 24

* No. 23

No. 22

No. 21

No. 20

No. 19

* No. 18

* No. 17

No. 16 

No. 15

* No. 14

* No. 13

* No. 12

* No. 11

* No. 10

* No. 9

* No. 8

* No. 7

* No. 6 

* No. 5

* No. 4 

* No. 3

* No. 2


(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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