Pokes Practice Report: Developmental Dozen
LARAMIE -- The plan is working.
Wyoming currently has 12 former players in NFL training camps, including four in Las Vegas after the Raiders inked tight end Jacob Hollister earlier in the week. Craig Bohl isn't exactly surprised.
When Wyoming's head coach was hired in 2014, he said a scheme was hatched. The keyword was development and UW Athletics Director Tom Burman bought in.
"It's showing," Bohl said of his players moving on to the next level. "... I don't know if we've ever had this number of players in the NFL? A lot of it has to do with, I think we've identified the right guys and they're getting better."
Marcus Epps, Tyler Hall and Azizi Hearn are currently members of the Raiders secondary. Logan Wilson, who just agreed to a 4-year extension Friday worth up to $37.25 million, is a star linebacker in Cincinnati. Chad Muma and Andrew Wingard are key members of a resurgent Jacksonville franchise, and Josh Allen is arguably the face of the league.
Not everyone gets featured on the cover of Madden.
Bohl joked that he's "not much of a Vegas fan." In fact, he didn't even know Hollister was picked up this week.
"I'm happy for those guys," he added.
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Carl Granderson (Saints), Mike Purcell (Broncos), Tashaun Gipson (49ers), Xazavian Valladay (Texans) and CJ Coldon (Vikings) are also in camps.
Bohl said there will be more to come.
"There'll be some guys off of this year's team that are going to have a chance to play in the NFL, as well," he said.
Here are some other notes from Day 3 of training camp:
* Sabastian Harsh did not practice Friday. Bohl said the 6-foot-3, 242-pound defensive end had soreness in the surgically repaired left knee that cost him the entire 2022 season. "We don't think it's anything serious, but we're going to take quite a deep dive on that," he said. "I'll let you know on that as we go."
* DQ James was also held out of practice. The sophomore running back had some swelling in his right knee. James suffered a torn ACL against Colorado State last season and missed spring camp.
* Wes King is under the microscope. The 6-foot-5, 292-pound redshirt freshman is already listed as the Cowboys starting left guard on the initial depth chart. His backup, Ethan Drewes, left the program to attend law school. How is he looking so far? "I thought today -- a little bit of a mixed bag," Bohl said. "And when I said that, you know, the guys he's going against are the ones that I just mentioned (defensive front). So, it's making things challenging for him. There's a bright future and I have to be measured on the evaluation. When I get in there and watch the tape I'll have a better idea."
* Speaking of that front four. Bohl started his Friday press conference in praise of familiar names like Cole Godbout, Jordan Bertagnole and others. "Probably not a surprise to you guys, but we're really strong, particularly on the defensive line," he said, adding that this was the first practice in half pads. "We had great push and we've got good depth at that spot." Bohl also mentioned Gavin Meyer, Ben Florentine and Jaden Williams.
* Kolbey Taylor continues to impress. The sophomore cornerback from the Greater Houston Area was the unquestioned MVP of the spring. That is carrying over. "He has been really consistent," Bohl said. "It's been encouraging."
* Bohl said this defense will specialize in pressure. That's a luxury that comes with talented depth across the front seven. Throw a potential shutdown corner into the mix and you really have something. "If you can control the front and you can play well on the perimeter there at the corner position, now you don't have to pressure all the time. You can get a better pass rush," he said. "We'll see how they do as fall camp goes along, but I'm encouraged."
* Offseason transfers Devin Boddie Jr. (Vanderbilt) and Ayir Asante (Holy Cross) once again impressed their head coach on Friday morning. "I thought they had a great day," Bohl said of the two wide receivers. "Both of them are going to add really good value for us, and as you guys know, we probably need to have more productivity, particularly on the outside. So I was pleased with that."
* What about the quarterbacks? "Sometimes we put the ball too much in harm's way," Bohl said. "But I know they're trying to push things downfield." Hey, they're trying.
* Running back Harrison Waylee is expected to miss the first "couple of games" this fall. The Northern Illinois transfer underwent knee surgery and is not quite ready to go. Waylee jogged down the steps inside the High Altitude Performance Center on Wednesday and I told him he looks fine and joked with him about not playing. "That's what I've been telling them," he replied with a smile. Bohl said that decision is out of his hands, but he's been impressed with Waylee's demeanor in camp. "He's out there coaching. I mean, really coaching," Bohl said. "It's not like he's always standing back there, he's really into the practices." He's also been drinking a lot of beet juice. "It doesn't look real good to me," Bohl joked. "I'd rather drink some other stuff."
* Gillette product Kayden LaFramboise made a big catch on a long ball Wednesday morning, Bohl said. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound receiver walked on to the program this summer. "He's tall, angular and can really run," he said. "... It's always encouraging for me to see guys from Wyoming have a chance. How he progresses is going to be important, but what we've seen thus far has been very positive."
* Practice No. 4 kicks off Saturday morning at 9:20 a.m. on the North 40 practice fields. Fans and media are prohibited from attending. Bohl and Co. will again meet with the local press Monday afternoon.
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players