Pokes prepping for Saturday scrimmage inside War Memorial Stadium
* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release
LARAMIE -- Looking forward to their first extensive scrimmage of the spring this coming Saturday, the Wyoming Cowboys practiced outside in War Memorial Stadium on Thursday.
Cowboy players will have an opportunity Saturday to show their coaches the skills they’ve been honing throughout the first eight practices of Spring Drills.
Head coach Craig Bohl said it’s time for his team to get in some full-speed live reps in order for his coaching staff to be able to better evaluate players.
“We had a pretty spirited practice today,” Bohl said Thursday evening following practice. “We were outside as we needed to get some work in. We were able to get some good work done. I think the wind made it somewhat challenging for our quarterbacks though.
“We will scrimmage on Saturday. It is important for us to get some live work in. We’ve had limited live work thus far this spring and so we need to strap it up in a live setting.”
Asked what he and his staff will be looking for specifically on Saturday, Bohl responded, “We need to get more of an in-depth look at some of the guys who look good during our team periods in practice. We need to identify who can finish off a block in full-contact situations, who on defense can get off a block, who can tackle effectively, who on offense can get some yards after contact.”
Bohl said the plans are to get 70 to 80 plays in during Saturday’s scrimmage.
Defensive Line Progressing
In the interior defensive line, junior All-Conference nose tackle Cole Godbout and sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole both return to give the Cowboys a solid tandem inside. Bohl was asked if there were any other interior D-linemen who were distinguishing themselves this spring.
“I think Caleb Robinson (a sophomore) has good ability,” said Bohl. “He would probably be the third guy in there. After that, we’ll see how things sort out with some of the younger players.”
At defensive end, two young players have stepped forward this spring to help solidify that position.
“DeVonne Harris (a sophomore) is really developing into an excellent speed rusher,” said Bohl. “He’s got excellent acceleration and that is something you look for in an edge rusher, and he’s improved on his run defense. Sabastian Harsh (a sophomore) has a got a real knack and a real feel for the defensive end position. He’s very fluid, is a capable pass rusher and also is a good run defender. It’s been encouraging to see those two guys come around.”
New Faces in the Secondary
The Wyoming defensive secondary will feature a lot of new faces at both the cornerback and safety positions in 2022.
While they are new faces, they aren’t all young players. Among those players impressing the head coach this spring has been senior free safety Miles Williams. Williams who has been a key backup at safety and a standout special teams performer for the Pokes is now getting his opportunity to earn a starting spot.
“Miles (Williams) has had a great spring,” said Bohl. “When he’s had to make plays in space, he’s done that. In the one short scrimmage we had this spring he really played well there. He’s executing his assignments well, and I believe his coverage skills have improved. Certainly his understanding of our defense is there, so we have high expectations for Miles. I think you’re going to see him earn a lot of playing time this fall.”
At cornerback, junior Jakorey Hawkins, who is a first-year transfer from Ole Miss, has stood out through the first three weeks of spring practice.
“A guy that I really noted today was Jakorey Hawkins,” said Bohl. “He continues to make an impression out there. He’s got good size. He runs well, and he’s doing a good job of learning our system. Coach (Benny) Boyd is doing a good job with him, and I think Jakorey is going to be a great, great asset for us.
“He played well in the SEC, and I talked with a couple of his coaches who had worked with him at Ole Miss. You never know how a guy is going to respond or how he’s going to fit into your team’s culture, but we’re well pleased with Jakorey.”
New Members of the Coaching Staff
Working with the interior defensive lineman this spring is new assistant coach Oscar Giles.
Giles was a long-time defensive line coach at his alma mater, the University of Texas, and at the University of Houston. He and Bohl have known each other since the late 1980s when Bohl tried to recruit Giles to the University of Wisconsin. Giles, a native of the state of Texas, went on to play for the Texas Longhorns where he had a standout career.
“To renew the friendship with Oscar (Giles) has been great,” commented Bohl. “Oscar has really embraced Wyoming. He loves this program and our players have really rallied around his coaching.”
The other first-year member of the Wyoming coaching staff is offensive line coach Joe Tripodi.
Tripodi came to Wyoming after coaching the offensive line the previous three seasons at Temple University. Prior to that, he coached nine seasons at Northern Illinois, serving as the offensive line coach and offensive run-game coordinator. While at Northern Illinois, Tripodi coached with current Wyoming offensive coordinator Tim Polasek. Tripodi was himself an outstanding offensive lineman at Northwestern University in Chicago.
“Joe (Tripodi) and Tim (Polasek) coached together previously, and Joe has been a great addition to our staff this spring,” added Bohl.
What Lies Ahead for the Cowboys This Spring
Following Saturday’s first major scrimmage of the spring, the Cowboys will have six practices remaining to be spread over the next two weeks. The Pokes will likely scrimmage again on Saturday, April 23 leading up to the annual Brown and Gold Spring Game on Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.
The April 30 Spring Game will be free and open to the public. All other spring practices and scrimmages are closed.
2022 University of Wyoming Remaining Spring Football Practices
Saturday, April 16 Practice 9, Closed Scrimmage
Tuesday, April 19 Practice 10
Thursday, April 21 Practice 11
Saturday, April 23 Practice 12
Tuesday, April 26 Practice 13
Thursday, April 28 Practice 14
Saturday, April 30 2:00 p.m., Spring Game, War Memorial Stadium, Free and Open to the Public, Practice 15