Pokes Practice Report: Depth chart? Not likely
LARAMIE -- If you are eagerly awaiting the release of a depth chart this spring, don't.
Craig Bohl said Thursday night after the Cowboys' second official practice that naming starters isn't the priority, competition is.
While some spots are likely locked up -- Cole Godbout (nose guard), Easton Gibbs (middle linebacker), Titus Swen (running back), Treyton Welch (tight end) and Eric Abojei (left guard) -- plenty will be up for grabs well into fall camp.
That includes the quarterbacks.
"I can tell you I doubt whether I'm going to release a depth chart at the end of spring this year," Wyoming's ninth-year head coach said. "That's just the makeup of this team this year. This is a fun team to coach simply because there's a lot of unknowns. So, that's probably going to carry itself into fall camp."
There couple be an exception or two.
"Unless someone just clearly emerges where I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is our guy at some spot," Bohl continued. "We're going to have competition throughout fall. I think that's going to be healthy for us."
Wyoming had the second-most returning production in the nation last season, according to ESPN. This year, fourth from last.
Here are some other tidbits from the Pokes second practice of the spring:
* Bohl's fears were confirmed today. Freshman safety TJ Urban has a torn ACL. The Air Force transfer fell to the turf and grabbed his left knee during a punt-return drill just minutes into UW's first practice Tuesday afternoon in Laramie. Fullback Caleb Driskill suffered a hamstring pull Thursday. Bohl said that could be a "couple week deal" for the Gillette native.
* Anyone standing out so far? Here's good news for Cowboys fans -- Bohl said the defensive ends. All of them. That is a position that has taken major hits due to graduation and the transfer portal. Solomon Byrd, Victor Jones, Jaylen Pate, Teagan Liufau and Garrett Crall are all gone. "I would say probably the speed and quickness of our young defensive ends," Bohl said. "... They can sure move and they show excellent speed and quickness. So that's probably been the thing that's impressed me the most." Wyoming's roster -- without the services of the true freshmen who will be here in June -- reads like this: Tyce Westland (R-Frosh), Oluwaseyi Omotosho (R-Frosh), Sabastian Harsh (Soph.), Braxton Bundy (Frosh), Braden Siders (R-Frosh) and DeVonne Harris (Soph.). Bohl told you they were young.
* Frank Crum, the junior right tackle from Laramie, has also caught Bohl's eye so far this spring. The 6-foot-7, 315-pounder is no stranger to the starting five. The best part about that, Bohl said, he doesn't act like it. "He has played an awful lot of football," he said. "I think things would probably look fairly promising for him (to be a starter) but I can tell you he's not had a mentality of 'well, I've arrived.' I mean, he's got a really sharp edge and he's going out there and working really hard."
MORE UW FOOTBALL NEWS:
* Bohl said he was really pleased with the way his team responded on day one of camp Tuesday afternoon. Today, he said it wasn't as "clean" as he had hoped. What does that mean? Accuracy from his signal callers wasn't exactly crisp. "We need to work on that a little bit more," he said. Bohl did say he was happy with his two new transfers at the corner spots -- Deron Harrell (Wisconsin) and Jakorey Hawkins (Ole Miss). Saturday, the Cowboys will wear full pads for the first time, though Bohl said it will not be a full-contact workout. "It was a good practice, I don't know if it was a great one," he said of the entire team. "Like I said, I could have rose-colored glasses on and tell you how great it all is every day, but that's not true. But nonetheless, the effort is good."
* A couple other names that have been impressing Bohl so far is Hank Gibbs and Swen. Gibbs, who was the third-string QB last season, has yet to attempt a pass at the Division-I level. "You know, Hank Gibbs has done some really good things," he said. "So, we're looking at him." Second-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Polasek called Gibbs a "big-arm guy" but added he has limitations in the QB run game. The same can't be said for fellow QB's Jayden Clemons and Andrew Peasley.
* I mentioned in a column Wednesday that transfer QB Evan Svoboda looked an awful lot like Josh Allen, even down to the number on his back. Bohl agreed, adding like Allen, Svoboda (6-foot-5, 240) has a ton of tools that still need to be developed. "Yeah, he's running around with No. 17. I said, 'that's a pretty stout commitment,'" Bohl joked. "You know, he really has a great want-to and loves being at Wyoming ... Josh was somewhat of a developmental guy also. So, we think there's big upside, which is why we went ahead and offered him."
* Ralph Fawaz averaged 42.5 yards per punt during his first full season as the starter in Laramie. After a show-me year, Fawaz confirmed he's on full scholarship.
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* Saturday's practice -- like all of them -- is closed to the public and media. Coaches and players will talk again at the conclusion of practice next Tuesday night. The Cowboys spring game is scheduled for April 30 at 2 p.m. inside War Memorial Stadium.
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