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. 89 – Marty Hamilton

Split end, 1958-60, Torrington, Wyoming

Résumé in Laramie
Marty Hamilton was a three-year letter winner at Wyoming and earned All-Conference honors as a senior. Hamilton was also the first academic All-American in school history. The Cowboys boasted a record of 25-6 during his collegiate career.

Why Hamilton?
Wyoming was just scratching the surface as a national power when Torrington's Marty Hamilton suited up for three seasons in Laramie.

Hamilton, who was a part of Bob Devaney's first recruiting class at UW, lost just six games in a Cowboy uniform. He never lost to rivals BYU or Colorado State. In fact, Wyoming outscored its Border War nemesis a whopping 76-14.

In 1958, when Hamilton was a sophomore, Wyoming played Hardin-Simmons in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. It was just the third bowl appearance in program history. It would eventually be the Cowboys' third straight victory in the national spotlight.

Wyoming won that afternoon 14-6 thanks to a pair of touchdown runs from Bud Snyder. The UW defense took care of the rest.

That's the lone bowl game of Hamilton's career despite the team finishing 9-1 and 8-2 over his final two seasons. As a senior in 1960, the split end was named to the All-Mountain States Athletic Conference first team along with teammates Jerry Hill, Chuck Lamson and Mark Smolinski.

Hamilton wasn't only a beast on the gridiron, he was also Wyoming's first ever Academic All-American that season.

Aside from a 5-5 mark in 1962 under rookie head coach Lloyd Eaton, Wyoming became that national brand culminating with a trip to the Sugar Bowl Jan. 1, 1968. Under Devaney and Eaton, the Cowboys frequented the Top 20 in the national polls and tallied a combined record of 92-43-7 with three bowl appearances and seven conference championships.

Honorable mention
Brent Leu (1994-96) was a captain on the 1996 squad that went 10-2 and played in the inaugural WAC Championship game against No. 6 BYU at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

While the spotlight that season was squarely on Heisman hopeful Marcus Harris and Joe Tiller's high-powered offensive attack, Leu and the defense settled in nicely after a pair of shootout wins over Idaho and Iowa State to begin the '96 campaign.

The Cowboys blasted Hawaii 66-0 inside War Memorial Stadium. They held Air Force to just 19 points and, for a seven-week stretch, no one scored more than 28 points on the Pokes. Most of those scores came when the Cowboys had a sizable lead anyway.

In Leu's first two seasons, Wyoming hovered around .500. There was that memorable game in 1994 when the Cowboys nearly pulled off the impossible before falling late in Lincoln to the eventual national champion, Nebraska Cornhuskers.

It was in 1996, however, when Tiller's bunch finally began to click on both sides of the scrimmage. Leu, along with teammates like Jim Talich, Jay Jenkins and Lee Vaughn, among many others, made the Wyoming defense something to fear once again.

How about an Oh-what-could-have-been player who wore the No. 89 in Laramie?

That guy is Josh Doctson (2011), and in one season at UW, the speedster snagged 35 passes for 393 yards and five touchdowns. Doctson will forever be in the Wyoming record books after averaging 43 yards per reception in a 22-19 win over the Rams. Doctson caught just three passes, but turned that into 129 receiving yards. He also caught a pair of touchdown passes, including an 80-yarder from Brett Smith.

Check that out at the 2:07 mark:

Doctson left Laramie after his freshman season and transferred to TCU. There, he caught 179 passes and amassed 2,784 yards and 29 touchdowns. He went on to become the 22nd overall pick in the first round by the Washington Redskins in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Who else wore No. 89
Bob Marshall
(end), Cliff Totten (end), Bob Larson (end), Ken Hustad (TE), Ray Osborn (K), Adonis Jones (WR), Christian Galdabini (DT), Steve Roe (DT), Scott Mimnaugh (TE), Roger Philpot (DL), Garry Gotfredson (DT), Andrew Waring (TE), Dan Fisher (TE), Jason Amos (WR), Jake Scott (K/P), Zach Bolger (WR), Nico Brown (WR), Hunter Atyia (WR), Parker Dumas (WR),

*** All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email ***

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