Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 81
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. 81 – Guy Frazier
Defensive end, 1977-80, Detroit, Michigan
Résumé in Laramie
Guy Frazier, a captain on the 1980 squad, earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors from his defensive end position. That season, Frazier tallied 94 tackles and led the Cowboys to three big home wins, including one over Oregon State of the PAC 12. Frazier might be better known for his brief NFL career that came with one big play on the game's biggest stage.
Guy Frazier played on just one winning team during his four years in Laramie. He was never part of a win over BYU. His team topped Border War rival Colorado State one time in 1977.
There were no bowl invites or earth-shattering upsets. There's was plenty of coaching upheaval and mediocrity though.
Why is Frazier the best player to ever wear No. 81 in Wyoming football history? It's what the Detroit native represented more than anything. Sure, he was a first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection as a senior, as well as a team captain.
Most importantly, he was a black player from the inner-city.
Those players tended to shy away from Wyoming after the Black 14 incident in 1969.
The year before Frazier arrived on campus, the Cowboys went 8-4 and played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. UW football was supposed to be back on the map.
However, considering the coaching carousel that saw Frazier play under Bill Lewis and then Pat Dye, who stuck around for one season, before Al Kincaid took the reins, hovering around .500 wasn't exactly the end of the world. It was much better than the pair of two-win seasons and one-win campaign that followed the Pokes' Sugar Bowl appearance in '69.
Let's not forget another important aspect -- Frazier was a great defensive end.
He racked up 94 tackles and led the Cowboys to wins over Oregon State, Utah and San Diego State as a senior. He parlayed that into becoming a fourth-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Frazier played five NFL seasons in Cinncy and Buffalo. He is probably best known for opening Super Bowl XVI against the 49ers in his hometown, hammering kick returner John Simmons and causing a fumble.
That was the first time in Super Bowl history that a turnover occurred on the opening kickoff.
John Wadkowski (2004-05) could make this list for one play alone.
That was a 12-yard go-ahead touchdown reception against UCLA with .58 left in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl. The Tight end hauled in the Corey Bramlet bullet to give the Pokes' their first bowl victory since 1966.
Wadkowski was also a second-team All-Mountain West selection that season.
Speaking of tight ends, Mike Jones (1991-93) was another pass catcher who earned All-Conference honors as a senior. Jones played on the Cowboys team that faced Kansas State in the Copper Bowl. Alongside Ryan Yarborough, Jones was a favorite target of quarterback Joe Hughes.
Who else wore No. 81
Milburn “Buster” Elder (end), Tony Carducci (TE), John Dunn (TE), Cody Johnson (WR), Garrett Smith (DT), Brahms Derenoncourt (WR), Sean Bowman (WR), Josua Tima (WR), Derrick Levy (WR), Dontae Morgan (WR), Brandon Miller (WR), Justin Berger (WR), Austin Fort (TE), Treyton Welch (TE), Bret Bommer (DL)
*** All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com. ***