Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 14
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. 14 – Casey Bramlet
Quarterback, 2000-03, Wheatland, Wyo.
Résumé in Laramie
Casey Bramlet left UW the most decorated quarterback in school history. He is still the program leader in career passing yards (9,684), pass attempts (1,378) and completions (767). Bramlet left the all-time leader in passing touchdowns with 56. He is currently second. Bramlet put up the third most proficient day in UW lore when he torched UNLV for 453 yards and five touchdowns. He also sits in seventh and eighth place all-time in that category. In 2002, Bramlet threw for 3,290 yards. That’s still the fourth-best single season in the team’s record books. He is still the only QB to throw for more than 9,000 yards. He also scored 14 rushing touchdowns in his four years in Laramie.
Casey Bramlet was a part of nine wins during his four years in Laramie. Only two came on the road, both at then-lowly Utah State. It was arguably the lowest point in the history of the program. But each week, Bramlet picked himself up off the turf and came to work. He was one of the lone bright spots in a very dark time.
He did have some help from wide outs Jovon Bouknight, Malcom Floyd, Ryan McGuffey and Brock Ralph, among others, but most Saturdays, the Cowboys lost the shootout.
How bad was it? The Pokes lost 37 games. They had zero conference wins in 2000 and 2001. The following season, a two-win campaign, saw the goal posts come down after a stunning 34-26 win over No. 22 Air Force.
Despite the constant pounding he took, Bramlet proved to be Cowboy tough. And at the end of the day, he is statistically the best quarterback to go under center in UW history.
And, boy, did he have a rocket arm:
The Wheatland product is the only QB to eclipse 3,000 yards in three straight seasons. He is No. 1 overall in passing yards, attempts and completions. His 56 career touchdown passes was the standard in program history until Brett Smith surpassed Bramlet in 2013.
One of Bramlet’s most memorable outings came on an emotional day in Logan, Utah. A week prior, eight UW cross-country members were killed by a drunk driver. The Cowboys dedicated their game against Utah State to them.
It was also 11 days after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The Pokes had an extra week off after the Kansas game was cancelled.
Bramlet came out on fire, completing 22 of 38 passes for 422 yards and pair of touchdowns in the 43-42 win.
"The pain will always be there, but this helps a lot," Bramlet told reporters after the game. "We were playing for them."
A back-and-forth affair was settled on a blocked PAT by Wyoming wide receiver, Scottie Vines. Utah State scored with 25 ticks remaining on the clock, but an excessive celebration penalty moved the point-after attempt back 15 more yards.
It was only the Cowboys second win over a Division-I team in two years. They didn’t win a game the rest of the season.
In hindsight, that made the Utah State win that much sweeter.
"The first couple of days this week, it was hard to concentrate on football," Bramlet said. "We started hard, everyone started concentrating and doing what we had to do."
That is still the seventh-best passing game in school history.
When Joe Glenn came to town in 2003, there was reason for optimism. Bramlet and the Pokes upset rivals BYU and Colorado State at War Memorial Stadium. They finished the year 4-8.
When I see Bramlet, I ask him if he is upset with his brother, Corey Bramlet. The following year, little brother led the Cowboys to an upset victory in the Las Vegas Bowl. All the poundings, close losses and misery of losing campaigns, it had to make him a little bitter, right?
Humble as always, Bramlet said he was proud of his former teammates, his school and his little brother.
One can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if Bramlet played under Joe Tiller or Dana Dimel. Maybe he throws for 15,000 yards and becomes a first-round draft pick? We will never know.
Bramlet did get selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2004 NFL Draft. He spent one season in Cincy before heading to NFL Europe. There, Bramlet not only won the World Bowl Championship for the Hamburg Sea Devils, he was named the game’s MVP.
Bramlet is back home in Wyoming and works for Merrill Lynch in Casper.
The Oct. 1 Arizona Republic headline read: “Underdog Cowboys stun Devils, 45-43”
Wyoming Steve Cockreham led the Pokes past Danny White and the 17th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils at War Memorial Stadium in 1972. ASU was the defending Fiesta Bowl Champions. It was one of their two losses that season, while UW finished 4-7 under Fritz Shurmur.
It was one of the greatest upsets in UW history. It was a bright spot after the Black 14 episode and the resignation of Lloyd Eaton two years prior.
Cockreham was the team’s offensive leader in 1972 and 73, passing for 1,010 and 1,649 yards, respectively. He also could run the ball, eclipsing the 500-yard mark in ’72.
Who else wore No. 14
Miles Williams (CB), CJ Johnson (WR), Kendall Hollowell (S), TJ Patterson (QB), Tyran Finley (CB), Billy Hysong (QB), Daniel Sullivan (K), Adam Pittser (QB), David Tooley (TE), Eric Mitchell (S), Quincy Rogers (S), Hugh Albora (QB), Clifford “Butch” Wilson (RB), Dick Brooks (RB), Brad Quiring (QB), Peter Rowe (QB), Vic Elliott (CB), Bobby Cole (S), John Graham (QB), Ross Butchart (K)
- All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.