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. 70 – Trenton Franz

Offensive lineman, 2001-04, Ft. Collins, Colo.

Résumé in Laramie
Trenton Franz earned First Team All-Conference honors during his senior season in Laramie. As a sophomore and junior, he was named an honorable mention in the Mountain West Conference. Franz was a First Team Academic All-American, joining such Wyoming greats as Ryan Christopherson, Brian Brown, Fran Miknis, Marty Hamilton, Brian Lee and Jay Korth, among others, to earn that prestigious honor. Franz was also a key to the Cowboys' Las Vegas Bowl championship in 2004.

Why Franz?
Trenton Franz is a smart guy.

Really smart. In fact, his middle name should probably be changed to "scholarship."

Not only did he earn a full ride to play football at the University of Wyoming, he followed that up with six more scholarships during his four-year tenure in Laramie, including the "Draddy Award," which is the equivalent of the academic Heisman Trophy. For good measure, he earned the National Football Foundation Post Graduate Scholarship, which goes to 15 seniors nationwide.

When he left Laramie in 2004, Franz moved on to Princeton. Guess what he did there? Excelled. Then, he went to the University of Arizona where he completed his doctoral studies. Now, he's a professor of hydrogeophysics in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska.

See if you can decipher any of this:




Oh, and he was a damn good football player, too.

Franz suited up for the Cowboys from 2001-04, and was a catalyst in helping lead an upstart Wyoming team to an unthinkable 24-21 victory over UCLA in his final collegiate game in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Wyoming was a two-touchdown underdog in Sin City. That didn't matter to this group.

Franz won just four games in his first first two seasons as a Cowboy under then-head coach Vic Koenning. Despite the team's struggles on the field, Franz earned an honorable mention nod by his sophomore season.

Joe Glenn took over the program in 2003. Winning -- finally -- followed.

The Cowboys won four games that season, including upset home wins over longtime rivals Colorado State and BYU. The field goal posts took a ride after each victory. The Cowboys also upended Montana State and beat Utah State in Logan, the program's first road victory since 2001, also at USU.

Another honorable mention followed for Franz.

As a senior, the Cowboys started the season 4-1, including a home win over Ole Miss of the SEC. Wyoming won a three-overtime thriller over UNLV on the road to reach bowl eligibility for the first time since the 1999 campaign.

The lasting image of Franz that season was standing on the podium on the turf of Sam Boyd Stadium, surrounded by the Wyoming faithful, accepting the Las Vegas Bowl trophy.

Franz earned First Team All-Mountain West honors that season.

Honorable mention
Russ Arnold
(2006-09) was a Swiss Army knife on the offensive line for then-head coach Joe Glenn, and eventually, Dave Christensen. He played nearly every position on the front five, but started mostly at the guard spot.

As a senior, he moved to center as the Cowboys switched from a pro-style offense to the spread.

"You can't practice that enough," he told the local newspaper back in 2009. "A lot of this offense is about timing, and the last thing the quarterback needs is to be worrying about the snap from center. There are only so many ways to block a guy, but it doesn't matter if you can't snap the ball to the quarterback."

Arnold blocked for the second-leading rusher in school history, Devin Moore. Arnold's final game as a Cowboy came in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl, a 35-28 victory over Fresno State in double overtime.

Like Franz, Arnold also came from CSU's backyard in Ft. Collins.

Who else wore No. 70
Merle Worden
(T), Sam Carter (T), Greg Wieczerza (OT), Gary Walters (OT), Mitch Rosebrough (OT), Phil Cafferty (OT), Ryan Oman (OL), John Huber (OL), Skyler Hinton (OG), Conner Cain (DT)

All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.