Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 25
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. 25 – Aaron Kyle
Safety/ cornerback, 1972-75, Detroit, Mich.
Résumé in Laramie
Aaron Kyle earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors at cornerback his senior season. The Detroit native was a Swiss-army knife of sorts, leading the Cowboys in 1974 and ’75 in put returns and yardage, along with being Wyoming’s leading tackler and defensive-point producer. When Kyle left Laramie, he was the all-time leading tackler in program history with 275. Kyle was invited to play in the Blue-Gray Football Classic, the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine game, all post-career All-Star games, after the 1975 season.
When Aaron Kyle was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016, he said two memories stood out for him during his time in Laramie. For one, he met his wife here.
He had to mention that, right?
Secondly, it was the Cowboys stunning 45-43 upset of No. 11 Arizona State during his freshman season in 1972.
“That victory lives on forever,” Kyle told the crowd in Laramie during his induction.
And every time he ran into ASU’s head coach, Frank Kush, Kyle always had the upper hand.
“It makes me feel good,” he smiled.
Not much else went right for the Cowboys in Kyle’s four years on campus. His first two seasons, UW went 4-4. He only won four more games total the following two seasons.
The team may not have had success, but he did, leading the Cowboys in unassisted tackles for two straight seasons. When he graduated, Kyle was the program’s all-time leader in that category with 275. He was a hard-hitting safety his first three seasons in Laramie before moving to the corner position in 1975.
There, all he did was become a first-team All-WAC selection. And speaking of selections, Kyle was taken in the first round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Kyle was just the third UW player to be selected in the opening round. Eleven selections earlier, teammate Lawrence Gaines was taken by the Lions. In 1967, Ron Billingsly was taken 14th overall by the Chargers.
In his hall of fame speech, Kyle said he was proud of his Wyoming teammates despite the mounting losses.
“We always played tough,” he said. “We never lost a game, we just got outscored.”
During his time in Dallas, Kyle helped lead the Cowboys to a victory over Denver in Super Bowl XII.
Kyle picked off Broncos quarterback Craig Morton late in the first quarter that Sunday in New Orleans. The ensuing field goal gave Dallas a two-score lead. Kyle wasn’t done terrorizing Denver signal callers just yet. Leading by 10 in the fourth, Kyle pounced on a Norris Weese fumble. The Cowboys capitalized one snap later to clinch a Super Bowl championship.
Kyle played seven NFL seasons. After his four years in Dallas, ironically enough, Kyle landed in Denver.
Sheridan’s Dick Campbell (1948-50) scored the first touchdown in the 1951 Gator Bowl in a 20-7 Cowboys win over Washington & Lee. The defensive halfback and blocking back in the offensive backfield, was a critical part of the only Wyoming team in school history to go undefeated.
Campbell, who joined Bowden Wyatt’s Pokes after two years of military service, was named an honorable mention All-American and All-Skyline Conference player in 1950.
During his final two seasons in Laramie, Campbell caught 18 consecutive passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Campbell played in the College All-Star game in Chicago following his senior season. Campbell was selected in the 13th round of the 1951 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He was the fifth Wyoming player in history to hear his name called on draft day.
In 2012, Campbell was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame.
Danny Pittman (1978-79) needs a little love here, too. The wide receiver was selected in the fourth round of the 1980 NFL Draft by the Giants. In only two seasons in Laramie, Pittman snagged 56 passes for 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns.
Pittman was also a speedy kick returner, racking up 604 yards on 30 attempts.
Running back Kevin Lowe (1981-84) still holds the NCAA record for yards per carry with 30.2 against South Dakota State in 1984.
Lowe boat raced the Jackrabbits that day for 302 yards on 10 carries. He had two scoring runs of 76 yards and another 87 yarder. He finished his career with 2,188 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns,
Who else wore No. 25
David Montalbano (FB), Jerry Gadlin (FL), Charlie Shaw (RB), Steve Bena (FB), Tim Bennett (TE), Kearnice Taylor (WR), Kris Mindlin (K), TW Steele (CB), Travis Short (RB), Matt Mondragon (WR), Brandon Haugen (LB), Tahj Mowry (RB), Billy Vinnedge (K/P), James Davis (RB), Spencer Bruce (TE), JD Krill (TE), Dameko Doddles (WR), Austin Conway (WR)
- All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.