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. 30 – Logan Wilson

Linebacker, 2015-19, Casper, Wyo.,

Résumé in Laramie
Since being named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2016, all Logan Wilson has done is play and start every single game of his collegiate career, racking up 316 tackles and led the Cowboys in hits the past two seasons with 103 and 119, respectively. Out of every FBS football player in the country, Wilson is ranked second in tackles, behind only Texas State linebacker, Bryan London II, with 341. The Natrona County graduate is ranked in the Top-13 nationally in defensive touchdowns (3), tackles per game (8) and solo tackles per game (5). A three-time team captain, Wilson was named Honorable Mention in the MWC last season. He was a second-teamer the season prior.

Why Wilson?
It is purely a coincidence that Logan Wilson was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List this morning. They hand that hardware over at the end of the season to the best defensive player in the country.

Or maybe it’s a sign?

This kid is pretty good. And he isn’t really a kid anymore. He grew up in front of our eyes to become one of the best players in Wyoming history.

How good? If Wilson has a Wilson-type of year – say 110 tackles – he will be the No. 4 tackler in program history just behind Jim Talich (440), former teammate, Andrew Wingard (454) and Galand Thaxton (467).

That’s some rarified air.

Wilson burst onto the scene in 2016, earning Mountain West Freshman of the Year.

That season, the Natrona County Mustang led the league in tackles with 94 and dropped ball carriers in the backfield 7.5 times. He picked up a trio of sacks, the same number of interceptions and fumble recoveries and forced one. Wilson also scored a pair of touchdowns, one on a 27-yard pick six against Eastern Michigan and another fumble recovery in the end zone against UNLV.

He was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week after tallying seven tackles a fumble recovery and picking off a pass in a 52-28 shellacking of Utah State.

Wilson’s most impressive stat has been the No. 39.

That’s how many starts the senior linebacker has made in his three-year career. That’s every single game. And with him in the lineup, the Pokes have been bowl eligible every year, too.

And like any good Wyoming boy, Wilson’s best performances have come against Colorado State.

As a sophomore, Wilson pounded the Rams for a career-high 14 tackles in a 16-13 victory inside a snow globe that doubled as War Memorial Stadium. His 12 tackle-performance last season in Fort Collins was tied for his best of the season.

He opened the Border War in CSU’s new stadium in grand fashion, hanging out in the Rams backfield all night long for a national television audience to see.

The 6-foot, 2-inch, 250-pound Wilson has shown that he can go sideline to sideline, stick to tight ends and running backs like glue and spy on some of the more athletic quarterbacks in the country, never letting them out of his sight. He was recruited as a defensive back after all. And on the Wyoming High School track circuit, was known for his speed.

Even with 50 extra pounds on his frame since his arrival, Wilson hasn’t lost a step. If anything, he’s just gotten better.

When Wilson takes the field Aug. 31 against Missouri, his 316 tackles will be the second best in the FBS.

This guy is special. And it’s very rare to have an active player on any list which includes the title “best ever.”

Wilson is more than deserving.

Honorable mention
Logan Wilson was cut from the same cloth as former Wyoming safety, Rich Miller (1985-88).

Miller, a Lakewood, Colo., native, packed a punch. When he hit you – you went down. In a hurry. He also had a knack for being around the football, picking off three passes for the Cowboys during some of the best seasons in program history.

Miller was a force in the defensive backfield on the 1987 Holiday Bowl team. The following season, Miller helped lead UW back to San Diego. Miller was recruited by Al Kincaid, played one season under Dennis Erickson and thrived under Paul Roach.

If you Google Miller, one article says that he is best known for laying the lumber to a BYU receiver in the 1988 home opener. You remember, that was the first night game in War Memorial Stadium history.

Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t have the visual proof. If you remember that blast, I want to hear about it in the comments. I’m sure everyone does.

I want to give some love to a No. 30 that probably doesn’t automatically roll off the tongue of most Wyoming fans, Randy Tscharner (2003-04).

When Joe Glenn arrived in Laramie, he said there was zero doubt where the strength of his new squad lied – in the linebacking corps. With names like Tyler Gottschalk, Shane Powell, J.C. Trautwein, Austin Hall, Guy Tuell, and others, who could blame him?

All of those players contributed immediately. They turned a dormant, underachieving defense under Vic Koenning into Las Vegas Bowl champions in two seasons.

Tscharner played a major role in that. Despite playing only two seasons at UW after transferring from Santa Rosa Junior College, Tscharner is ninth all time in tackles for loss with 11 in the 2003 campaign.

Who else wore No. 30
George Lockyer (RB), Jay Cook (DB), Dana Day (RB), Scott Monroe (RB), Arlen Smith (RB), Curtis Staley (LB), Gary Wright (CB), Alex Renshaw (RB), Tyree Carter (CB), Dack Lambert (WR), Lief Savanborn (LB), Jacob McGarvin (WR), Brecken Biggs (LB), Dawaiian McNeely (RB)

  • All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.