Pokes Practice Report: Evaluation time in Laramie
LARAMIE -- Nearly every practice so far this spring has been forced inside due to weather conditions in the Gem City.
More specifically, that ever-present Wyoming wind.
Today, despite gusts reaching nearly 35 miles per hour, the Cowboys got some work done inside a blustery War Memorial Stadium. It was a welcome change up for everyone.
Well, maybe not the signal callers.
"It was a pretty spirited practice," UW head coach Craig Bohl said. "We were outside. We needed to get some work in. You know, the wind was OK enough to get some work in, but I think it was somewhat challenging for the quarterbacks."
Wyoming will take it outside once again Saturday afternoon. That's when Bohl said the team will take part in its first scrimmage of camp, just two weeks to the day from the annual spring game.
"It'll be important for us to get some live work in," he said. "We've had limited live work and we're going to need to, you know, strap it up and see what goes on out there."
What exactly is Bohl hoping to get out of that scrimmage?
"Just an evaluation on some of the guys that look good when we're doing our team sets," he said. "Who can finish off a block? Who can get off a block? Who can make a tackle? Who can throw? Maybe our running backs can get some yards after contact. So, I'll be able to give a much better assessment."
Here are some tidbits from today's workout in Laramie:
* For the second straight practice, Bohl said there were no injuries. Safety Isaac White and fullback Caleb Driskill are still making their way back from hamstring injuries. White is expected to miss the rest of spring, while Driskill told me he plans to be back soon.
* Bohl kept his opening comments brief tonight, but he did point out the play of Ole Miss transfer, Jakorey Hawkins. The junior from Montgomery, Alabama has been acclimating to Wyoming and a new defensive scheme. "He just continues to make an impression out there," Bohl said. "You know, he has good size and he can run. He's learning our system. Coach (Benny) Boyd is doing a good job with him and I think he's going to be a great, great asset."
MORE UW FOOTBALL COVERAGE:
* Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole are thought to be frontrunners at the two defensive tackle spots in Jay Sawvel's defense. Who will back them up? Bohl said Caleb Robinson is a good candidate. "He has a lot of good ability," he said. "So, he's probably the next guy in there. Then, after that, we'll just see how things sort out." Gavin Meyer is another player who has been in the rotation early on.
* Bohl once again praised the young defensive end corps, starting with DeVonne Harris, the only player on the two-deep who has actually played in a game. "He's really developing into, I think, an excellent speed rusher," Bohl said. "He's got acceleration after his first two steps and that's always something you look for. He's improved on his run defense." Then, he brought up that name again -- Sabastian Harsh. The Scottsbluff product has been mentioned in every press conference this spring. Why should today be any different? "He has got a really good knack and a really good feel," he said. "He's very fluid. He's a capable pass rusher and also a good run defender."
* Strong safety Miles Williams, one of just four seniors on the roster, is having a breakout spring, according to his head coach. That's good news. Wyoming's secondary was hit hard by graduation and the transfer portal this offseason. Williams has played behind guys like Andrew Wingard, Marcus Epps, Alijah Haliburton, Esaias Gandy, Rome Weber and Braden Smith during his four-plus years on campus. Now, it might just be his time. "When he's had to make plays in space, he's done that," Bohl said. "We had the one short scrimmage and he really played well. He's executing well, and I think his coverage skills have improved. Certainly his understanding of the defense has really improved. So, we have high expectations and I think you're going to see him have a lot of playing time this next fall."
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* The Cowboys annual spring game is scheduled for April 30 at 2 p.m. inside War Memorial Stadium.