LARAMIE -- Placekicker Keelan Anderson broke a 41-year-old state record last September when he split the uprights from 61 yards out.

Now, Jay Sawvel is hoping that big right leg will help Wyoming in the field position game.

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Anderson, who handled all kicking duties at Cheyenne's South High School, will get a crack at the starting punting job this spring, according to the Cowboys first-year head coach.

"Keelan Anderson did punt in high school so we're going to work with him in the spring and see where we are at," Sawvel said, adding that the program does have another punter headed to Laramie who will be in the mix, though he said "we are not able to release that right now."

Former All-American John Hoyland will return to Laramie for his senior season in 2024 and again will handle the field goal and kickoff duties.

Anderson will have to wait his turn.

After turning down scholarship offers from Black Hills State, Montana Tech, Northern Colorado and others, Anderson accepted a preferred walk-on spot at Wyoming with the team's initial recruiting class in December. Along with securing that booming state record a season ago, Anderson also connected on kicks from 57 and 53 yards.

The former state record was a 57-yard attempt off the foot of Natrona County kicker David Browning back in 1982.

Anderson, and this mystery punter, will look to replace Clayton Stewart, who wrapped up his final collegiate season after spending three seasons at UW after transferring in from Texas State. Stewart, who also served as Hoyland's holder, had an inconsistent senior campaign, finishing sixth in the Mountain West after averaging 42.8 yards per punt.

He dropped 17 of his 61 kicks inside the opponents' 20-yard line, which was second to last in the conference. He also had the second-most touchbacks with six, while hitting 14 for 50 yards or more. That final stat was middle of the pack in a league littered with quality punters.

Ralph Fawaz, who served as Stewart's backup in 2023, has one season of eligibility remaining but was announced during senior day festivities last November, leaving the door wide open for Anderson.

Can he snag the gig?

He at least has an audition.

"We will determine kind of where we're at as we go through the spring and into the spring and base it that way," Sawvel said. "We're not shortchanging that position at all. So, that's something that's going to be a continued evaluation, and that's something that we could make some kind of addition to following spring ball or depending on how things shake out."

Anderson graduated early and is on campus going through offseason workouts. He is one of four in-state recruits, joining Sheridan's Alex Haswell, Cheyenne East product Drew Jackson and Tegen Seeds from Douglas.

Wyoming's slate of spring practices is set to begin March 26 in Laramie.

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit:

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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