Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 26
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. 26 – Steve Martinez
Split end, 1979-82, Los Angeles, Calif.
Résumé in Laramie
When the dust settled on Steve Martinez’s Wyoming career, he was the leader in receptions with 124. The wide out from LA is still ninth on the all-time yards list with 2,043. Martinez caught 14 touchdown passes and led the Pokes in receiving over his last three seasons (513 yards, 626 yards and 546 yards). Martinez was a three-year letter winner and was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference team his junior season.
In a time with little consistency in the Wyoming football program, Steve Martinez brought it every Saturday.
He played for three coaches – Bill Lewis, Pat Dye and Al Kincaid – during his four-year career in Laramie. A trio of coaches and a trio of different offenses, yet Martinez and quarterback Phil Davis had a connection.
At a university where wide receivers have become stars, Martinez was one of the first pass catchers to shine, leading the Cowboys in receiving for three straight seasons from 1980-82. He is still ranked ninth all-time in yards with 2,043, just 13 yards ahead of Robert Herron (our pick for No. 6).
When he graduated, Martinez was seventh in the record books.
Martinez’s 1981 season was his best.
The then-junior caught 37 passes for a team-high 629 yards. He was named All-Western Athletic Conference. Not coincidentally, the Cowboys also finished that season 8-3 under Kincaid, highlighted by a 33-20 win over Jim McMahon and No. 13 BYU.
Wyoming also dismantled Colorado State the following week, 55-21.
Martinez had a tryout with his hometown Los Angeles Rams in 1983. According to MaxPreps.com, he is currently a firefighter for the City of LA. His sons followed in his footsteps to Woodrow Wilson High School on the eastside of the city. Their names are Laramie and Cole. And like dad, they were both All-City selections.
Who else wore No. 26
Jim Hinton (DB), Chuck Dunning (FL), Chico Johnson (RB), Kearnice Taylor (WR), Taylor Sorenson (K), Ryan Cain (S), Tyrice Bradley (LB), Michael Wahlstrom (WR), Tom Vincent (S), Alex Renshaw (RB/S), Montey Brunk (RB), Darius Terry (RB), Eli Zent (QB), Brandon Jones (LB), CJ Jennings (CB), Nick Wilson (WR), Avante Cox (WR), Isaiah Neyor (WR), Braden Smith (S), Garry McLean (Wingback)
- All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.