Pokes Practice Report: Monsters in the Middle
LARAMIE -- A broken record isn't always a bad thing.
Take Wyoming's defensive line for example.
Craig Bohl has praised his front four in every media session so far this spring. He talks about their speed, compete level and, most importantly, results. That all starts with the monsters in the middle, Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole. Monday, that duo, along with a whole host of buddies, made life tough on Cowboy signal callers.
That's become a theme this fall.
"I thought our defense was really moving around well," Wyoming's 10th-year head coach said. "I was concerned, we started out under some pass-under-pressure and I thought our defense -- somewhat to be expected -- was really pressing the quarterback."
Godbout and Bertagnole are entrenched at the tackle spot. Gavin Meyer has a seat at the table, too. Bohl said they are looking for a fourth guy and beyond. Remember, Ethan Drewes and Ben Florentine were on the field during Boise State's final drive of the game, which resulted in a George Holani fumble.
"It's good competition right now," Bohl said, referring to Florentine and 6-foot-2, 296-pound Caleb Robinson. "Ben's probably a little bit ahead in that, but nothing brings out the best in a guy than competition."
Bohl added Robinson is behind in his conditioning after a car accident this offseason.
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Overall, Bohl isn't surprised one bit that this unit is ahead of schedule. They have been putting up numbers in the offseason, too.
"That group probably had the most impressive gains as far as their strength level, their body composition and their movement," he added. "So, you know, we've got several guys that are 290 (pounds) that are playing really strong with strong hands. So, we need to leverage that."
Wyoming is also in search of another edge rusher. At least one, after Bohl announced Monday Sabastian Harsh missed practice again with a sore left knee and will undergo a procedure to "remove some wire in his knee."
The Scottsbluff, Neb., product missed the entire 2022 campaign. Bohl said he anticipates having Harsh back but failed to give a timeline.
DeVonne Harris, who registered a team-high 8.5 sacks a season ago and was recently named a preseason First Team All-Mountain West selection, will start on one end. Braden Siders is another option on the other side.
Tyce Westland, Keelan Cox, Ethan Day, Jaxon Galica, Kevin Sjogren, Tell Wade and Jordan Turnbull are also listed as defensive ends.
Here's some other news from Monday's practice in Laramie:
* Speaking of broken records. Bohl again talked about the emergence of transfer receivers Devin Boddie Jr. (Vanderbilt) and Ayir Asante (Holy Cross). "Those guys, I think, are going to be a good addition for us," he said. Boddie, who has three seasons of eligibility remaining, has 32 career catches for 324 yards and a touchdowns. Asante 117 balls for 1,722 yards and 16 scores. He has one collegiate year left.
* John Michael Gyllenborg was back at practice Monday after what Bohl called a bout with a "stomach virus." He said the 6-foot-5, 243-pound sophomore tight end was "violently sick."
* Wyoming added 21 new commits on the NCAA's official signing day in early February, many of which were preferred walk-on's. The school didn't differentiate between scholarship guys and PWO's. That's very much on purpose. The staff wants all of these players to feel equal. Bohl said that is paying off early in camp. "I think that whole group is a deep group," he said. "There's good length, size, speed and focus. I think the future really looks bright for some of those guys for a long, long time. And, what you're seeing too, is once our guys are in the program -- whether they're on scholarship or their non-scholarship -- they're on the team. So they've really meshed in well and we're well pleased."
* Urgency. That is a word that doesn't need to be spoken this fall. Frank Crum feels it, Bohl said. So does Andrew Peasley and all the other seniors who have one last go on the high plains in a Wyoming uniform. "It's been my experience that when you have special years, your oldest, most experienced players have their best year," he said. "When you underachieve, it's typically because those guys are just kind of off the mark. Thus far the needle is pointing up with them."
* Benny Boyd, Wyoming's cornerbacks coach, said this is the deepest, most talented room he's had since coming to Laramie in 2020. That's saying something considering he has two players -- Azizi Hearn (Raiders) and CJ Coldon (Vikings) -- currently in NFL training camps. How much can having emerging players like Kolbey Taylor, Tyrecus Davis, Jakorey Hawkins, and others, help prep Peasley and his outside targets this fall? "I think it's going to help (Peasley) but it's also going to help our receivers, getting off press and things like that," Bohl said. "You just see more guys in the right area and that competition is forcing our receivers to margins, you know, where the windows are closing. So you have to put the ball in a better space and the receivers need to make sure they make contested catches."
* Bohl agrees with Boyd when it comes to the players on that unit. "This is probably the best we've been for quite some time," he said. "You know, it's certainly showing up and we're well pleased."
* The Cowboys will hold their sixth workout of the fall Tuesday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the North 40 practice fields. This will be the team's first practice in full pads. Fans and media are prohibited from attending.