Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 88
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. 88 – Malcom Floyd
Wide receiver, 2000-03, Sacramento, California
Résumé in Laramie
Malcom Floyd is still in the school's top 10 in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns. He was an All-Conference performer over his final three seasons in Laramie. He played 11 seasons in the NFL after going undrafted in 2004. He suited up his entire career for one team -- the San Diego Chargers. In 2019, Floyd was a finalist for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.
You won't find Malcom Floyd's name in the history books when it comes to breakout single-season or game performances. He didn't average 20 yards per receptions or have a 15-catch game during his four-year career in Laramie.
He was never the team's leading receiver. Heck, if it wasn't for an 11-year NFL career, Jovon Bouknight and Ryan McGuffey could've easily overshadowed him.
Though Floyd was every bit of 6-feet, 5-inches tall, he was unassuming. Flash was not a part of his game, instead he could be described as a model of consistency. He did it with class and a smile.
Just ask defensive backs around the Mountain West Conference.
Floyd snagged 186 passes for 2,411 yards. He also caught 14 touchdown passes from Casey Bramlet. Floyd is still eighth all-time in school history in receiving yards, sixth in career receptions. Floyd is still in the Top 10 in touchdown grabs.
It's not an accident that Bramlet is Wyoming's all-time leading passer.
Unfortunately, the Bramlet-to-Floyd connection wasn't the only consistency during Floyd's time in Laramie. The Cowboys fell on hard times at the start of the 2000's under new head coach Vic Koenning.
Wyoming's offense produced most Saturdays, but it was rarely enough. The Cowboys won just five games in three seasons under Koenning. Joe Glenn took the reigns of the program in 2003.
That's when things slowly, but surely, began to change.
In Floyd's final season on campus, Wyoming won four games, including upset home wins over rivals BYU and Colorado State. Both days, the field goal posts came down. The brown-and-gold mob took them right down Grand Avenue.
Floyd snagged just four passes for 26 yards against the Cougars. Tyler Gottschalk and the Pokes' D did the damage that day.
In the Border War, well, that was another story.
CSU and its confident quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt rolled into Laramie on a cloudy day inside War Memorial Stadium. The Rams were heavily favored and had won four straight in the series.
All Floyd did was catch a team-high seven passes for 143 yards and a touchdown in a 35-28 victory. To make matters even better, many of those catches came in front of Ben Stratton, a Cheyenne East graduate.
Floyd earned All-MWC Honorable Mention his last three seasons at UW. The San Diego Chargers signed him as a free agent in 2004. He went on to become one of the best receivers in franchise history, catching 321 passes for 5,550 yards and 34 touchdowns. That's an average of 17.3 yards per grab.
He did that with class and a smile, too.
"I just want to be known as a good team player who was always there for my teammates," Floyd told Chargers.com in 2016 after announcing his retirement. "That is what the game is all about. Just being there for your teammates and putting your body on the line for your brothers. They would do the same for you, so that is what I hope to be remembered for. That is what I tried to do every day."
Jacob Hollister (2014-16) just got better and better each season in Laramie.
When Josh Allen is your quarterback, those things tend to happen.
Hollister, a current member of the Seattle Seahawks, became one of Allen's top targets at the tight end position. He became an outlet for the gunslinger. And he typically got the job done. As a sophomore, Hollister hauled in just 17 receptions for 244 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
As a senior, the junior college transfer from Oregon, caught 32 balls for 515 yards and seven scores. When the dust settled on his collegiate career, Hollister's stat line read like this: 75 catches, 1,114 yards, 14.9 yards per catch and 12 touchdowns.
More importantly, his 2016 Wyoming squad won a division title and played in the Mountain West championship game.
There's a current No. 88 that is making his way up the list, too.
Defensive end Garrett Crall (2017-current) is a walk-on player from Hicksville, Ohio. All he's done since the day he arrived in Laramie is rack up 126 tackles and 11.5 sacks. Crall has also registered 18 tackles for loss, forced two fumbles and recovered three.
Equally as good at getting the quarterback as he is stopping the run, Crall should be a team captain this season as a senior. He, along with Solomon Byrd, could be one of the best pass-rushing duos in the country in 2020.
Who else wore No. 88
Tom Lane (end), Dave Wentworth (DE), Vic Baginski (TE), Freddie Dussett (SE), Matt Swenson (TE), Jerel Haynes (DE), Matt Schneider (TE), Scott Koch (TE), Orlando Arnold (TE), Josh Smith (WR), Jalen Claiborne (WR), EC Ogu (WR), Max Mazurie (WR),
*** All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com. ***