Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 60
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. 60 – Al Zerfoss
Offensive guard, 1967-69, Nanticoke, Penn.
Résumé in Laramie
Al Zerfoss was a stalwart on the Cowboys offensive line during some of the best seasons in program history. He blocked for players like Paul Toscano and Jim Kiick. He also was a part of the Hall of Fame Sugar Bowl squad of 1967.
He didn't have the fame of a Paul Toscano, Jim Kiick, Jim House, Gene Huey, Larry Nels or Jerry DePoyster.
But without Al Zerfoss and the rest of the Cowboys offensive line, this might not be considered the glory days of Cowboy football.
Under the leadership of head coach Lloyd Eaton, Zerfoss and the Cowboys continued the success from the previous season that saw Wyoming go 10-1 and knock off Florida State 28-20 in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
The 1967 campaign was the program's best ever.
Wyoming rolled through the regular season, including wins over Air Force, Colorado State, BYU and Utah in consecutive weeks. The Cowboys also won four straight road games to close out the season, knocking off Arizona State, San Jose State, New Mexico and UTEP.
Wyoming was the No. 7 team in the nation when it came to bowl selection day. Zerfoss and the Cowboys were headed south to the bayou to take on national powerhouse LSU in its own backyard.
Wyoming fell 20-13 that day in muddy New Orleans, but gained the respect of the nation. The team from Laramie was an up-and-comer.
As a junior, Zerfoss and Co. went 7-3 with near losses at Nebraska, Air Force and Arizona. This time, though, the Cowboys didn't receive a bowl invite. They finished the season ranked 20th in the nation.
During Zerfoss' senior campaign, the "Black 14" incident spelled the end for football dominance in Laramie. Wyoming hammered BYU 40-7 without its black players. The following week, the Pokes took down SJSU, 16-7.
They didn't win another game.
Zerfoss went 23-8 during his three-year stint in the Gem City. His Sugar Bowl team is now forever enshrined in the UW Athletics Hall of Fame.
Nick Carlson (2009-12) was known as one of the toughest offensive linemen of the Dave Christensen era. Carlson blocked for Austyn Carta-Samuels and Brett Smith, two of the best quarterbacks in program history.
Carlson also paved the way for one of Wyoming's top running backs, Alvester Alexander.
And speaking of Alexander, Carlson was a catalyst for his record-breaking day in 2010 when the Cowboys romped Border War rival CSU, 44-0. Alexander scored five touchdowns against the Rams that beautiful fall afternoon.
A team captain during his senior season, Carlson played in two bowl games during his UW career -- both in New Mexico. As a freshman, the Cowboys knocked off Fresno State 35-28 in double overtime. As a junior, Wyoming fell to Temple, 37-15.
Who else wore No. 60
Dan Hansen (G), Bob Zellner (G), Jeff Gonda (OG), Bear Hanousek (OL), Mark Hardee (RB), Chad Tobiasson (DT), Craig Valance (RB), Frank Tonkovich (LB), Jason Wilhelm (OT), Adam Brasel (MLB), Aaron Vincent (LB), Sean Stronach (OG), Ryan McKinley (OL), Du’Ryan Ebbesen (DL), Kendall Dickson (DE), Marco Machado (C)
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