Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 54
CHEYENNE — Do you ever see a number on a Wyoming football jersey and think of all the great players to wear it? Yeah, me too. In this daily series, I’ll give you my take on which Pokes’ football player was the best ever to don each number. The criteria are simple: How did he perform at UW? What kind of impact did he have on the program?
No. 54 – Grant Salisbury
Center, 1986-88, Auburn, Wash.,
Résumé in Laramie
Grant Salisbury was an All-Western Conference selection as a senior in 1988. He played for two of the best teams in Wyoming history, helping lead the Cowboys to back-to-back conference titles and appearances in the Holiday Bowl. In 1988, Wyoming's offense was one of the best in the nation, averaging 39 points per outing. Salisbury blocked for UW legends like Randy Welniak, Craig Burnett, Gerald Abraham and Dabby Dawson.
Likely the toughest competition Grant Salisbury faced during his tenure in Laramie was in practice every day.
The Cowboys starting center fought off the likes of Mike Schenbeck, Jeff Knapton, Galand Thaxton, Robert Midgett, Pat Rabold, Pete Gosar, David Edeen and a youngster named Mitch Donahue, among many others from arguably the best defensive squad in program history.
Al Kincaid brought most of this group to Laramie. They excelled, however, under the leadership of Wyoming Hall of Fame head coach Paul Roach.
Salisbury and Co. went 6-6 in Dennis Erickson's lone season in Laramie. The next two years, the Cowboys would go 21-5 and claim a pair of Western Athletic Conference Championships under Roach and played in back-to-back Holiday Bowls.
Aside from a pair of losses in San Diego, the Cowboys were known back in those day to hang with -- and beat -- the big boys.
During Salisbury's first season as a starter, Wyoming hammered Wisconsin, 21-12, at Camp Randall. In 1987, the Cowboys avenged a little payback on the visiting Iowa State Cyclones, rolling to an easy 34-17 victory at War Memorial Stadium. As a senior, Salisbury and the Cowboys waltzed into Kentucky and smacked Louisville, 44-9.
In 1987, the Cowboys handed rival BYU its lone conference loss of the season. Gerald Abraham rushed for a game high 91 yards on 20 carries and added a touchdown in the 29-27 win inside Cougar Stadium.
Salisbury's battery mate, Craig Burnett, tossed three touchdown passes that afternoon and finished with 308 yards through the air.
BYU finished 9-4 that season, including a 7-1 mark in WAC play. The only team the Cougars were starring up at in the standings was Salisbury and the Cowboys.
As a senior, Salisbury was an All-Western Athletic Conference selection. That 1988 campaign is still considered one of the best offensive seasons in UW history. Wyoming averaged 39 points per game en route to scoring 511 total points. Led by quarterback Randy Welniak, the Cowboys scored 66 touchdowns.
Salisbury currently resides in Seattle.
Herman White (1998-99, 01-02) isn't a name that most will probably remember. Mainly because when he played linebacker in Laramie, the program was at rock bottom.
After going 14-7 under Dana Dimel, the bottom fell out for the Cowboys in White's final two seasons on campus. In three seasons with head coach Vic Koenning, UW won just 5-of-34 games, including one conference win -- a 34-26 upset of 22nd-ranked Air Force.
The stats weren't the record-setting type, but White, a team captain, was one of the lone bright spots during a very dark period on the high plains.
Who else wore No. 54
Grover Page (C), John Schulein (LB), Winston Ho (NG), Cody Kelly (OG), Napolean Williams (LB), Kalim Underwood (LB), Jeff Warren (C), Max Tisthammer (NG), Jake Edmunds (LB), Chance Crawford (LB), BJ Sumter (DT), Miraldo Michel (DE), James Diamanti (DT), Austin Lopez (LB), Shae Suiaunoa (LB)
All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.