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:


Frosty Franklin/ UW courtesy photo
Frosty Franklin/ UW courtesy photo

No. 21 - Frosty Franklin

Running back, 1968-71, Powell, Wyo.


Résumé in Laramie

Frosty "Freight Train" Franklin led the Powell Panthers to a pair of state championships before taking his talents to Laramie and joining Lloyd Eaton's perennial power. He spent the 1968 season helping lead the Cowboys' freshman team to an undefeated record. When he finally got his chance in the varsity backfield, Franklin led the squad in rushing, rolling up 541 yards. Wyoming finished the season 6-4 overall, squandering a perfect start to the season after Eaton dismissed 14 African-American players from the roster in what became known as the "Black 14." Despite rushing for 542 yards the following season, the Cowboys won just one game, a 16-6 victory over Border War rival Colorado State. Oddly, though, Franklin scored just two total touchdowns over that timeframe. He saved his best season for last, eclipsing750 yards and scoring twice under first-year head coach Fritz Shurmur. He found the end zone twice as the Pokes finished 5-6 overall. Franklin's final stat line read like this: 1,834 yards rushing, 3.7 yards per attempt and four touchdowns. Franklin also caught 42 passes out of the backfield from Ed SynakowskiScott Freeman and Gary Fox. When he graduated, Franklin was the Cowboys' record holder for average number of rushes per game at 17.8. Brain Hill broke that in 2016 with 20.4 attempts per outing.


About Powell

As of the last census, more than 6,300 residents call Powell home. Nestled in Park County in the northwest section of the state, the town sits just 75 miles from the gates of Yellowstone National Park. Powell is settled between the Big Horn Mountains to the east and the Absaroka Range to the west. Former NFL tight end Chris Cooley and film actor Darren Dalton have both called the town home.


Pokes Football: Best of Wyoming series

* No. 25

* No. 24

* No. 23

* No. 22


(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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