Pokes Practice Report: Depth Wanted
LARAMIE -- Plenty of positions are up for grabs this fall.
Craig Bohl still hasn't publicly named a starting quarterback. Who will be the Cowboys' safeties? There's still a major question mark at the weakside linebacker spot. Same can be said for the punting gig. Will it be Clayton Stewart or incumbent, Ralph Fawaz?
Those questions will certainly sort themselves out. When they do, the focus will shift to the reserves, especially on Wyoming's offensive line.
"We're developing a couple of prospects at offensive tackle," Bohl said Thursday after the Pokes' second practice of fall camp. "We're still (looking) for depth."
Frank Crum should be UW's right tackle when the season opens Aug. 27 in Champaign, Ill. Eric Abojei is sliding over one spot from the left guard to the other tackle spot.
"We need to find a third guy behind them," Bohl continued.
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So, who are some of these prospects?
Maybe 6-foot-5, 308-pound Caden Barnett? How about redshirt freshman JJ Uphold or sophomore Jack Lookabaugh? Carlos Harrison is also listed at the tackle spot. So is Iowa Central Community College transfer, 6-foot-7, 290-pound, Forrest Scheel.
Wyoming also loaded up on offensive lineman in the 2022 recruiting class, snagging six prospects: Jagger Filippone, Mykel Janise, Rex Johnsen, Wes King, Luke Sandy and just the program's second ever four-star pick up, DeShawn Woods.
Bohl isn't showing his hand yet, but did mention at last week's Mountain West Media Days that it's much easier for a rookie to find playing time early on at a skill position compared to the lines of scrimmage.
Woods, Bohl said, will redshirt this fall.
Here's some other tidbits from Thursday's practice:
* Andrew Peasley had a good day under center, according to Bohl. Here's a nice update -- so did the rest of the quarterbacks: Evan Svoboda, Jayden Clemons, Hank Gibbs and incoming freshman, Caden Becker. "Better," Bohl said about the overall performance in practice No. 2. "From that standpoint, I thought we threw the ball better. Andrew threw the ball better, but all of our quarterbacks did. We caught the ball better."
* Two other players who stood out to Bohl Thursday was -- surprise, surprise -- junior running back Titus Swen, who was one of 52 players around the country named to the Paul Hornung Award Preseason Watch List. Swen is also on the Doak Walker Award Watch List. The other? Junior tight end Jackson Marcotte, the second-year law school student, who earlier in the week was nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
* Easton Gibbs will be the Cowboys' starting middle linebacker at Illinois. Who will line up next to him? "Right now, we're going to look at a whole gamut of guys," Bohl said, adding that the leading candidates are Shae Suiaunoa and Michigan State transfer, Cole DeMarzo. "... Between one of those two, one of them is going to need to probably rise up."
* Last week in Las Vegas, Bohl pointed to a trio of true freshmen who could see the field this fall: Caleb Merritt (wide receiver), Koa McIntyre (free safety) and Malique Singleton (Nickelback). Last fall, UW's ninth-year head coach said running back DQ James and wide out Jaylen Sargent were the two likeliest to earn playing time. That didn't pan out. So, how are those two looking this fall? "DQ looked good today, but it was just day one," Bohl said, adding that James was unable to catch a flight from Dallas to Denver and missed Wednesday's first practice. "Jaylen has done some good things. I think his confidence still needs to improve -- maturity -- but he's certainly a fluid athlete."
* Bohl called the return of redshirt junior receiver Gunner Gentry an "X-factor." Gentry missed the entire 2021 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee. You can read about his comeback right HERE. "I thought in the summer he was probably at 85%," Bohl said. "I don't necessarily believe he's at 100% right now. We're in hopes that during the next couple of weeks his functional conditioning will allow him to peek out, but I don't think he's there right now. He's getting close."
* Both offensive coordinator Tim Polasek and defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel are back. How big of a deal is it to have that returning experience? Huge. "It helps a lot," Bohl said. "You know, as a head coach, that really means a lot. And for those guys to know the program, I think it's really important to know the players. And so much more of a comfort zone."
* Stay tuned to 7220sports.com for all your Pokes news throughout fall camp and the season ahead. You can download our free mobile app right HERE. You can also subscribe to our daily newsletter right HERE.
PRESS PASS: Roaming The War
-PRESS PASS: Roaming The War