Where Are the Local Wyoming Football Recruits?
LARAMIE -- Thirteen prep players and a transfer portal running back put pen to paper today, inking with the Wyoming football program on the NCAA's early signing day.
Seven of those signees come from Texas. Two each from Wisconsin and Illinois jotted on the dotted line. So did one from Colorado, California and Iowa.
Where are the Wyoming natives?
Craig Bohl answered that very question today over a Zoom call with the local media.
"We were disappointed we weren't able to sign a guy out of this early class," Wyoming's ninth-year head coach said. "That doesn't mean we won't sign another one on the second signing day (Feb. 1), but we've got a pretty good pulse on the state."
Though Bohl declined to name the player, he is referring to Cody High School standout, who Wednesday signed as a preferred walk-on at the University of Notre Dame. The state's top prospect also received interest from Oklahoma, Washington State, Oregon State, Colorado State, Utah, Montana State and others.
Nic Talich, Luke's older brother, is currently a linebacker in Laramie. His father, Jim Talich, is the third-leading tackler in UW history. His uncle, Cory Talich, also suited up for the Cowboys. His cousin, Nathaniel Talich, is also on the men's basketball team.
Luke Talich, a three-time All-State selection, threw for 1,682 yards and 25 touchdowns last fall while leading the Broncs to the 3A state championship game. He also led the team in rushing, amassing 582 yards on the ground and finding the end zone seven more times. On the defensive side of the ball, Talich racked up 41.5 tackles, including 3.5 for loss and a sack. He also picked off a pass, recovered a fumble and blocked two kicks.
Gordie Haug, the program's director of recruiting, said Wednesday the state of Wyoming is always a priority.
"We're always going to take a hard look at Wyoming," he said. "You know, probably since coach has been here, I don't know if a Wyoming staff has been in as many high schools and they've talked to and developed as many relationships with high school coaches as we have.
"So, you know, with this just being the first signing day, we'll go back to the drawing board and continue to recruit this state extremely hard."
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No local products signed letters of intent Wednesday to join an FBS program. That includes Sheridan running back Colson Coon, who was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year, after rolling up 2,499 yards of total offense and leading the Broncs to a 4A state title. Coon scored 38 total touchdowns and broke the Wyoming 11-man record with 519 rushing yards in the state semifinals.
Coon's lone offer is from Northern Colorado. He also reportedly picked up preferred walk-on opportunities at Montana State and Mississippi State.
Bohl said you can look at his track record when it comes to selecting in-state prospects. That list includes Austin Fort (Gillette), Josh Harshman (Casper), Theo Dawson (Jackson), Zach Taylor (Gillette), Logan Wilson (Casper), Logan Harris (Torrington), Frank Crum (Laramie), Blayne Baker (Sheridan), Parker Christensen (Sheridan), Caleb Driskill (Gillette), Andrew Johnson (Cheyenne) and Isaac Schoenfeld (Rock Springs).
The Cowboys currently have 11 natives on the roster.
Bohl and Co. have signed at least one local player in every class since he arrived on the high plains in 2014.
That is until this year -- for now.
"Typically, you know, I think we've done a really good job identifying Wyoming players," Bohl said. "... So, while some people may look and say, 'well, they're not signing any Wyoming guys,' I think if you look at the past history over the nine years, I cannot recall a time when there's been a player in the state that we passed on that turned out to be a solid player. So, we're comfortable with where we're at, but we're going to continue to comb through it."
During Bohl's tenure in Laramie, the walk-on program has served as another avenue for local players to find their footing at the FBS level.
That includes names like Ben Wisdorf (Cheyenne), Dontae Crow (Sheridan), Jeff Burroughs (Yoder), Skyler Miller (Torrington), Pahl Schwab (Afton) and current players Will Pelissier (Big Horn) and Jordan Bertagnole (Casper).
The NCAA's official signing day is scheduled for Feb. 1.
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