LARAMIE — Fullback Matt List was not with the Wyoming Cowboys in fall camp, but if you were driving near the Wyoming athletics facilities, you were more likely to see List than any other football player.
List suffered an injury in Wyoming’s spring scrimmage in Casper and just resumed full contact in practice last week. In the meantime, he worked outdoor jobs with with the UW facilities staff.
“It was definitely good to be busy,” said List, a junior. “A lot of the guys who got injured would kind of stay at home or not do anything, but it was nice that the facilities staff could take me in and work for them and still (be) part of the university. I would still see the guys, whether it was after practice, talk to them, see how practice was and just stuff like that.”
List got hit the wrong way in the scrimmage and tore his glenohumeral ligament off the bone and suffered a partial tear in his labrum. A month later, he had surgery.
“It was a long process, but slowly but surely we’re back, so it’s good,” List said. “Definitely the toughest part is probably fall camp, not being with the team. I think that was hard, but (sports medicine staffers) Cole (Vertz) and Jeremy (Ross) have done an awesome job getting me back and getting strength back. It actually feels a lot better than it did before.”
His main job over the summer was outdoor maintenance, especially mowing the recreation field next to the team’s North 40 Practice Fields.
“I would weed-whack, do other stuff to make sure that the university is in good shape, make sure the grass is clean and grass is cut and all that,” he said. “All just maintenance stuff to make sure the university is running smooth. Our university staff does a great job of that. I was really happy to work with them this summer.”
List, who is on scholarship, took the job so he would “not to sit on my butt and play video games all day.”
His days would consist of working from 7 a.m. to noon; rehabbing, lifting and maintaining his cardio fitness from 1 to 4 p.m., making dinner and then going back to the athletics facilities to stretch.
“It was a pretty busy day,” he said.
And the work was actually a positive for his physical recovery, he said.
“Even early in the summer after the surgery, we’d be shoveling and stuff or changing sprinklers and stuff,” he said, “and I think the movements of daily life would help. So I liked doing all that.”
List returned to practice when classes began and spent the first week in a red non-contact jersey.
Backup fullback Jordan Ellis exhausted his eligibility in 2016, but defensive end Jaylon Watson has since moved over to fullback and is listed as Drew Van Maanen’s backup. List said “there’s been really no communication” regarding a competition for the backup spot since he returned.
“I’m not really sure,” he said. “Right now my goal is just to get on the field, whether it’s that or on special teams. And also winning games.”
Linebacker Cassh Maluia was in street clothes for Wednesday’s practice after injuring his thumb in Wyoming’s defeat of Gardner-Webb.
“He’s not going to practice today,” head coach Craig Bohl said. “They put some pins in it, but he’ll play in the game. I think he’s got some restriction, but he’ll play.”
Receiver James Price remained in a red non-contact jersey. Watson was in street clothes with an undisclosed injury.
Under the spotlight
The number of NFL scouts expected to attend Wyoming’s game Saturday against Oregon in Laramie is up to 21. Nike co-founder Phil Knight will also be in attendance.