Wyoming’s Buck Coors rehabs, pesters his way into lineup
LARAMIE -- It was a very real possibility Buck Coors was going to see significant playing time this fall at the nickelback position.
Keonte Glinton was the unquestioned starter out of fall camp, but the walk-on from Loveland, Colo., was nipping at his heels.
"Buck Coors is showing some real promise," Craig Bohl during a mid-camp press conference last August. "He's a guy who could always run, but he's shown that he's starting to understand football a little bit more. So he's going to get moved up the depth chart some. How far? I don't know."
An injury would take care of that final inquiry from Wyoming's ninth-year head coach.
Coors suffered a broken leg on the opening snap of the Cowboys' 99-play scrimmage just two weeks ahead of the season opener at Illinois. It appeared his redshirt freshman season was over before it even began.
"(It) is unfortunate, but he'll be back next year," Bohl said of the 5-foot-11, 187-pound Resurrection Christian High School graduate. "... One of the things that did hurt about losing Buck, I mean, beyond his name, which is a Wyoming guy through and through -- not that I drink Coors beer -- I mean he was really making great strides and that's part of the walk-on program. You know, without question, the nickel spot is important, it's an everyday player in our league."
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Bohl Monday called the loss "heartbreaking" for him and the team. UW defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel echoed those sentiments. Almost immediately, though, Coors began to tackle rehab and set goals, Bohl said. Like he's been known to do on the practice field, everything, Bohl added, is at "100 miles per hour."
Coors told his head coach he'd be back in uniform for the Utah State game. That was on Oct. 22. Bohl openly thought "yeah right."
"He had all kinds of different screws put in there," Bohl said. "He was on a mission. He was in my ear (saying), 'I can be doing this, I can be doing this, the doctor said I can be doing this and that.'"
Coors didn't quite hit his deadline.
Instead, he returned to the field a week later in Honolulu where he racked up a solo tackle on special teams. He was also on kick coverage against Colorado State and last Saturday night with Boise State in town.
He was "in the mix" to play defense before the season. Now, he's made his way to the two-deep on the depth chart behind Wrook Brown before the Cowboys face Fresno State in the season finale Friday night inside Bulldog Stadium.
"What the challenge is, is for him to gain that explosion and speed that he has. He's gotten better," Bohl said. "... He's going to have more practice reps to get him up to speed. But, I think he's got a future, not think, I know he has a future here. You just don't know when it's going to emerge."
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