Pokes Practice Report: No ‘TBA’s’ on This Depth Chart
LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl didn't release a depth chart at this time last fall.
In one word, youth.
Wyoming featured the third-youngest team in the FBS and the Cowboys' veteran head coach wanted position battles to rage on throughout camp.
"Unlike last year where there were some unknowns, you know, we have a more mature football team," Bohl said. "So, I felt like it was appropriate to go ahead and release it."
Before the Pokes took on Illinois in the 2022 opener, the quarterback spot was marked TBA.
Not this time.
Andrew Peasley, like he was last August in Champagne, will be under center Sept. 2 when Texas Tech pays a visit to War Memorial Stadium. The 6-foot-2, 218-pound graduate will look to build on his first season in Laramie which saw him complete 52.4% of his passes and throw just 10 touchdowns while leading the Cowboys to a 7-5 record as a starter.
Evan Svoboda, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound sophomore transfer from Snow College, will serve as Peasley's backup.
That, of course, is no surprise.
The running back spot, on the other hand, might be.
Jamari Ferrell, a Saddleback Community College (Calif.) transfer, is listed atop Bohl's initial depth chart this fall, winning the battle over DQ James, who is cleared but still making his way back from a torn right ACL, suffered late in the '22 campaign. Sam Scott, the linebacker-turned- running back sits in the No. 3 spot.
Farrell has taken full advantage of his opportunities during camp, according to Bohl.
"He's our starter," he said. "We felt like he scrimmaged really well. Many times, as a back --we did team reps today -- you get some idea, but, OK, can the guy separate? Can he break a tackle? All of those types of things. When the lights were on, he really played well. So, we're excited about him."
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Dawaiian McNeely, who was thought to be the top back in the rotation, tore his ACL less than two weeks ago. Northern Illinois transfer Harrison Waylee is still recovering from offseason knee surgery and is expected to miss the first "couple games," per Bohl.
Read all about the Pokes' initial depth chart release right HERE.
Here are a few other tidbits from Bohl's Monday meeting with the press:
* Bohl said last Friday that the "fur was going to fly" in the Cowboys' second scrimmage of the fall last Saturday inside War Memorial Stadium. According to him, it did. He also added that no injuries were sustained. "It was a hard-fought scrimmage," he said. "Guys played, I thought, well. We were able to get through without an injury, which was encouraging. That will be the last full-contact work that we do before we play Texas Tech."
* McNeely, to this point, is the only Wyoming player who has been lost for the season with an injury. Reserve safety Buck Coors suffered a broken hand last week and already underwent surgery. Bohl said he expects the sophomore to miss a "month or so." Wide receiver Will Pelissier also was injured during that Thursday practice, breaking a finger. The Big Horn native has also gone under the knife and a time table was not revealed. Waylee (knee) is not expected to play against the Red Raiders.
* Wyoming's staff thinks they've narrowed down the starting 22, but the special teams units are still a work in progress outside of placekicker John Hoyland, punter/ holder Clayton Stewart, long snapper Carson York, punt returner Caleb Cooley and kick returner Wyatt Wieland. "(We) probably have not zeroed in far enough along with maybe some of the starters on either the punt team or the punt-block team or some of the kick teams, but we're making progress there," Bohl said.
* As Bohl alluded to, the heavy lifting for this team is over. There will be no more pad smacking until it's time for the real deal in 12 days. "We're in the midst of a grind and we're trying to be smart with our practice reps and things like that to make sure we go into that first game ready to play, not only physically, but mentally," he said. "So, there's always a balance there of how much work to give a team? But, I think we're in a good place."
* You might have read in Friday's Pokes Practice Report that three-star running back Keany Parks has been moved from the backfield to cornerback. Bohl said he made the move in the middle of practice last week. He is looking for depth on the island and Parks, a 6-foot-1, 168-pound true freshman, fits the bill. "He was an excellent athlete in high school," Bohl added. "He's one of the few running backs that I know that when he's asked to move someplace else, he'll do anything for the team. He was excited about that move. So, we're trying to feed him with the fire hose right now. He's still got a lot to learn." Parks was considered the No. 2 recruit out of the state of Wisconsin, per 247sports.com.
* Hoyland Monday was named a Preseason Second Team All-American by the Associated Press. The junior placekicker from Broomfield was the only non-Power-5 player to land on the list. You can read all about that, with quotes from Bohl, right HERE.
* This might be the deepest receivers room since Bohl arrived in 2014. Wyoming's wide receivers coach Mike Grant says it is. So does offensive coordinator Tim Polasek. The two newest pass catchers -- Devin Boddie Jr. (Vanderbilt) and Ayir Asante (Holy Cross) -- are listed as backups to begin the season. Familiar faces like Wieland, Alex Brown and Ryan Marquez are all slated as starters, with youngsters like Caleb Merritt and Jaylen Sargent serving in a reserve role. "There's not just bodies, but playmakers, within that group," Bohl said. "We're really pleased."
* The Cowboys will hold their 17th practice of the fall Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the practice fields south of the War Memorial Fieldhouse. All practices are closed to the public and media.
* How about a shameless plug? 7220sports.com merchandise is on sale, courtesy of our friends over at Rocky Mountain Shirtworks in Laramie. You can check out all the new styles right HERE. The virtual store will close on Sept. 8.
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