Wyoming’s Craig Bohl Still Vows to Develop Despite P5 Admiration
LARAMIE -- While you might have been blindsided by Emmanuel Pregnon's mid-spring departure from the Wyoming football program, Craig Bohl wasn't.
The Cowboys' 10th-year head coach said he had been having ongoing conversations with the 6-foot-6, 318-pound offensive guard for several weeks. The sophomore officially entered college football's version of free agency Saturday afternoon.
While opinions differ on the NCAA Transfer Portal itself, it's what took place on Twitter following Pregnon's announcement that raised eyebrows.
Forty-one minutes after the initial social media post, another one followed. The Denver product was already receiving an offer from the University of Arizona. Less than two hours later, Purdue came calling. So did Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon, Indiana and UCLA.
That flood of new opportunities took roughly eight hours.
Pregnon spent Sunday fielding offers from the likes of Auburn, Penn State, Tennessee, LSU, Texas A&M and many more, including Deion Sanders and the home-state Colorado Buffaloes.
While there's no actual proof that it took place in Pregnon's case, Bohl was asked point blank Tuesday, "What can be done about tampering?"
He called it "unenforceable" right now.
"OK, if you can solve that go to Washington DC and solve the debt crisis right now," Bohl joked. "Every coach in America has talked to the NCAA about it. You know that. It's unfortunate. It's one of these things that, it's going on. I just try not to make a big deal about it."
On3.com penned an article Sunday titled "Why Wyoming lineman Emmanuel Pregnon has become early hot commodity in spring transfer portal window."
His size certainly doesn't hurt. Neither did a solid 2022 campaign on the Cowboys' front five or the fact he has multiple years of eligibility. He was a named a Freshman All-American by College Football News. Sources from Power-5 schools who were quoted anonymously through On3.com, view Pregnon as the top prospect out of the 89 nationwide Saturday to enter the portal.
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Yes, he's a hot commodity, but it also appears Bohl's program is being viewed in a different lens altogether.
"Wyoming does a good job out there, man,” the Big 12 personnel official told On3.com. “They’re one of the best developmental programs in the country. They do a really good job. Tip of the hat to freakin’ Wyoming. Every guy they have that gets in (the portal) goes somewhere big. People forget Craig Bohl was the one who started that North Dakota State train up over there. The guy knows what he’s doing over there.”
He's not wrong.
Xazavian Valladay (Arizona State), CJ Coldon (Oklahoma), Solomon Byrd (USC), Azizi Hearn (UCLA), Jaylen Pate (Northwestern), Keyon Blankenbaker (Texas Tech) and Isaiah Neyor (Texas) all saw their stock rise on the high plains of Laramie.
And these were just the guys to enter the portal in 2021.
Joshua Cobbs (Houston) and Oluwaseyi Omotosho (Oregon State) bolted before Wyoming's appearance in the Arizona Bowl last December.
So what does Bohl make of the P5 personnel swooning over his roster?
"This whole world of college footballs is a different landscape -- and we're evolving. I told you all we would evolve," he said. "I think one of the things that we said at the beginning when I sat down and talked with (UW Athletics Director) Tom Burman was, we were going to be a developmental program. It's going to be imperative that we develop.
"I think you've seen some players like Logan Wilson, who was developed here and chose to stay here. Things are working out pretty good for Logan, last time I checked. Chad Muma, Josh Allen, I can go down the line. We're going to continue to develop and, you know, I think we have a capable staff that goes out and they evaluate. Then, we have facilities and stuff like that. The brand of football we play were not going to veer off of."
When asked if he expects to lose or add any additional players this spring before the portal window closes April 30, it was clear Bohl was over the transfer topic.
"I appreciate the question," he said with a grin. "I know you're doing your job, but I'm focused on the guys we have here. Some things never surprise me. So, I'm really excited about the guys that we're coaching right now, and that's not just media talk. I hope you guys can kind of see my genuine comments there. So, talk to them. They're a fine group and we're going to have a good team."
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players