LARAMIE -- It appears Wyoming is about to lose its first player from the 2023 roster to the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Sophomore cornerback Kolbey Taylor tweeted in part on Monday "Thank you Lord Jesus #RecruitmentOpen."

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The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Houston product didn't appear in the final two games of the regular season, despite being dressed and on the sideline, after logging minutes in the previous seven outings. Taylor served a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules when the Cowboys played at then-No. 3 Texas back in mid-September.

He tallied 29 total tackles, seven pass breakups and a fumble recovery during his first season as a regular in the Wyoming secondary. Taylor's best statistical outing came in a 32-7 blowout loss at Boise State when he racked up six tackles and returned a Taylen Green fumble 40 yards.

He was also beat on the game's opening touchdown inside Albertsons Stadium, a 49-yard touchdown toss from Green to Eric McAlister.

Taylor had his struggles this season, committing four pass interference penalties. During a home game against New Mexico, he was flagged for interference, a personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct all in the second half.

The unofficial MVP of both spring and fall camp, Craig Bohl raved about the maturity and playmaking abilities of Taylor, who appeared in eight games -- mainly on special teams -- during the 2022 campaign.

"He's always had pretty good ability, but maybe some of the ups and downs if a play didn't go right," Wyoming's head coach said at the annual Mountain West Media Days event in Las Vegas. "Last year was, I would say, a mixed bag, at best. Then something began to change in the offseason."

 

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Taylor, a former three-star recruit from Pasadena Memorial High School, also landed on Bruce Feldman's "College Football Freaks List" in August. He landed at No. 22 out of 101 FBS players mainly because "he broad-jumped 11-2 and vertical-jumped 40 inches," according to Feldman. "Those are remarkable numbers, especially for a corner with that kind of frame."

Wyoming's defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel definitely bought into the preseason hype.

"A light turned on this winter and I have not seen anyone make the changes he has made," Sawvel said. "He will have a rough patch or two early in the year as a new starter, but if he continues on the trajectory he is on, I could definitely see him being a drafted player in time."

Taylor said he spent the 2022 season "second guessing" himself. He earned his first start in last December's Arizona Bowl. That debut lasted just four plays before he was ejected for targeting after a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless Ohio receiver.

This fall, Taylor pointed to "poise, technique and being coachable" as the reasons for his offseason transformation.

After his suspension, Taylor called himself his own worst enemy, adding he needed to sit out a game to refocus.

"It showed me a lot," he said in September. "I needed it so I could reflect on, you know, things where I was in the wrong, you know what I'm saying? It was a good thing for me, I think, because it made me the person I am right now."

His on-field antics were spotlighted throughout the season. Bohl was witnessed multiple times throughout the fall getting after Taylor during and after games, including a heated exchange at halftime in the Cowboys' 24-15 victory over Border War rival Colorado State.

"I was encouraging him," Bohl quipped." Enough said."

Tyrecus Davis and Jakorey Hawkins started the final two games against Hawaii and Nevada. Both intercepted a pass in a dominating 42-9 victory over the Rainbow Warriors. True freshman Ian Bell has appeared in those outings for the Cowboys.

Wyoming is awaiting its bowl destination after finishing the season 8-4 overall and 5-3 in Mountain West play.

While the portal doesn't officially open until Dec. 4, current players can announce their intent to enter college football's version of free agency.

Taylor has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

 

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University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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