LARAMIE — If you’re watching the Wyoming specialist group warm up before a game and don’t recognize No. 41, you’re not the the only one. Junior Ryan Galovich began practicing with the team the Monday after its game at Iowa, and non-specialists did not receive an immediate introduction to Wyoming’s new backup kicker.
“I don’t think they really knew who I was,” Galovich said. “I’m not surprised. Specialists are usually kind of the low-lying players on the team. Not to say that we’re not vital to the team at all. I’m just saying that we’re usually pretty low-lying.
“Not many people know our names or where we come from, what we do. They’re just another face on the team. Hopefully that will change as time goes on.”
Galovich is a transfer from Oregon State, though he did not play for the football team. The Corvallis, Oregon, native tried out for the Beavers but did not make the squad.
“Originally I came out of high school looking to get recruited, and it didn’t really pan out for me,” he said. “So I spent the first year kind of working on my degree. And then I realized at the beginning of my sophomore year that I really wanted to come back and start playing again.”
He began practicing with a friend who had tried out for the team as a long snapper.
Then Galovich reached out to some schools, and Wyoming recruiting director Gordie Haug said he’d give Galovich a shot.
“And to be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to be out here,” Galovich said. “I expected maybe to come out in the spring and compete then, but I’m happy to be out in the fall with (kicker Cooper Rothe) and (punter Tim Zaleski) and be able to kick the ball.”
Galovich wasn’t sure Monday if he’d be traveling with the team to Utah State — the Cowboys’ first away game since the loss to Iowa — and he’s still not entirely sure whether he has two or three years of eligibility.
Wyoming also has a backup kicker in Natrona County graduate Brock Beddes, but Beddes did not dress for Wyoming’s first four games as he waited for an NCAA waiver to clear.
Galovich said the longest field goal he has ever hit was a 62-yarder in practice with no rush back in Oregon. He also punted in high school, and said his longest in a game was 65 yards.
He has yet to see the field as a Cowboy, but one of his first games in a collegiate uniform came against the Oregon Ducks.
“It was more of a realization moment that I’m really out here with all these players that I grew up watching,” Galovich said. “Because Oregon State plays Oregon every year, and you sit there and you watch them come out of the tunnel, and they’re big guys. You always look up to them, and you’re like, ‘Wow, these are athletes,’ and I’m out here on the field with them.
“It’s a pretty surreal moment just to know that you’re out there, DivisionI football. It’s crazy.”
Wyoming has shuffled its offensive line once again. Senior Ryan Cummings has returned from concussion protocol, but head coach Craig Bohl said he would start at right tackle instead of left guard. Cummings played tackle his first three seasons at Wyoming but moved to guard in the fall for the first time since high school.
Bohl said redshirt freshman Jace Webb will play left guard, and Gavin Rush will play at right guard in place of the injured Kaden Jackson.
Hull out for year
Bohl said cornerback Antonio Hull will miss the rest of the year with a thigh injury. Wyoming will apply for a medical redshirt for the junior.