Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 17
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. 17 – Josh Allen
Quarterback, 2015-17, Firebaugh, Calif.
Résumé in Laramie
Despite only playing two full seasons in Laramie, Josh Allen still finds himself alone in fifth in the school’s record books with 44 touchdowns and 3,203 passing yards in 2016. Allen is eighth all-time in passing yards with 5,066. He was named second team All-Mountain West in 2016 and earned MVP honors at the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He is tied with Randy Welniak and Josh Wallwork for the most touchdowns in a season with 35. Allen scored 12 career rushing touchdowns. In his two seasons as a starter, Allen led the Cowboys to back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 1987-88.
Is that a serious question?
Aside from having one of the strongest arms the game has ever seen, Allen was an athletic specimen and had a competitive spirit that was unmatched.
There are literally hours worth of highlights on YouTube. But, in our opinion, it takes only one clip to show who Allen was for the Cowboys.
With the Pokes clinging to a 10-7 lead in the second quarter of the 2016 Mountain West Championship game in Laramie, Allen threw a laser toward the west sideline. Unfortunately, it hit San Diego State cornerback, Demontae Kazee, right in the numbers at the Wyoming 28-yard line. Kazee, who is now a standout defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons, looked like he had a clear path to the end zone and an Aztecs lead.
Not so fast.
Not only did Allen not give up on the play, he tackled Kazee at the goal line, forcing a fumble and a touchback.
Watch for yourself:
Allen could make any plan on the field with his arm or his feet. That became apparent in 2015 when he took the reins of Craig Bohl’s offense for the first time against Eastern Michigan. Entering the game as a relative unknown, a junior-college transfer, Allen marched the Pokes right down the field for an opening-drive touchdown.
But just 13 plays into his UW career -- Allen being Allen -- charged headfirst into an EMU linebacker, shattering his clavicle in seven places. He was done for the season. But he showed Cowboys fans a small glimmer of hope and what was to come.
His highlights; there were plenty.
There’s the 2015 opening day triple overtime dive into the end zone to beat Northern Illinois. Who could forget his final game in a Wyoming uniform, a three touchdown performance in a blowout win over Central Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. In front of John Elway and a number of other NFL scouts, Allen decided to play despite having a sore shoulder that kept him out of Wyoming’s final two regular season games. He had nothing left to prove.
He wanted to play for his teammates.
And what about the night he absolutely embarrassed Utah State at War Memorial Stadium?
He threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns that night in a 52-28 win over the Aggies. He did most of that damage in the first half as the Cowboys built a 35-7 halftime lead.
I’m pretty sure the Aggies can still hear “Josh Allen to Tanner Gentry” in their nightmares:
There was the wild 69-66 triple overtime loss at UNLV. Allen and Gentry went nuts again, connecting five times for 184 yards and three touchdowns, including a one-handed circus catch as time expired in regulation.
Fans will never forget this strike to the back of the end zone in Lincoln:
Or how about this leap in Ypsilanti, Michigan?
And here's a jaunt through the CSU defense for good measure:
There was the win over Boise State, the MWC Mountain Division clinching win over SDSU and the two “Colorado State Championships,” sweeping CSU and Air Force in both seasons he played.
Allen was selected No. 7 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. In his first season in Western New York, Allen was dynamic, turning heads with that cannon of a right arm and his athletic ability. The nation is starting to see what the new 600,000-plus Bills fans in Wyoming already knew – Allen is a leader. A winner
Something that leads to a play like the one he made on Kazee.
Corey Bramlet doesn’t get a whole lot of credit.
For one, his older brother, Casey Bramlet, owns nearly every record in the book.
Secondly, after a promising 4-1 start to the 2005 season – the lone loss came at No. 10 Florida -- and a Top-25 ranking, the wheels fell off. To say the least. And it all started with a deflating setback against MWC front-runner, TCU. Bramlet turned the ball over seven times that afternoon – four interceptions and three fumbles – and the Pokes lost 28-14. Wyoming’s defense allowed only one scoring drive that afternoon in Laramie. It was all of 19 yards. And it came after a, you guessed it, turnover.
Wyoming would go on to lose its last six games that season, finishing 4-7 overall.
It was a major disappointment. Especially considering what the Wheatland product and the Pokes did the previous December in Las Vegas.
Bramlet connected on 20 of 34 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns. His final fast ball zipped into the awaiting arms of John Wadkowski to give the Cowboys a 24-21 upset win over UCLA. It was Wyoming’s first bowl victory in 38 years.
Bramlet, who started two seasons under center for the Pokes, is No. 7 all-time in yards (5,149), attempts (717) and completions (417). He is 10th in UW history with 29 touchdown passes. He also ran for seven more scores.
Bramlet was a part of a few highlight wins: he beat Ole Miss twice, Air Force two times and led the two touchdown underdogs to a stunner in Sin City.
We want to give a shout out to Adrian Hill, too. He was a fierce hitter, playing opposite the line from Patrick Chukwurah. Together, they were a destructive duo for Dana Dimel’s defense. Hill played the “Bandit” position, a hybrid between a linebacker and defensive end.
Who else wore No. 17
Herb Larson (QB, Mike Hill (S), Fred Harris (WR), Eric Rice (DB), Kelley Pratt (QB), Matt Kettler (RB), Marcus Franklin (WR), Keith Lewis (CB), Kevin Robertson (WR), Jason Thompson (QB), Cameron Coffman (QB), Isiah Jefferson (WR), Deandre Watson (QB), Raghib Ismail (WR)
- All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.