LARAMIE — The Wyoming football team picked up another preseason honor this week, as defensive end Carl Granderson was named to the watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the nation’s top defensive end.
Granderson, who led the Mountain West with 16 tackles for loss last season and was second with 8.5 sacks, is one of three Mountain West players on the watch list, joining Boise State’s Curtis Weaver and Nevada’s Korey Rush on the 36-player list.
Granderson had already been named to the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player, per the Football Writers Association of America) and the Bednarik Award (best defensive player, per Maxwell Football Club).
North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb, now with the Denver Broncos, won the award last year.
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Eric Abojei continues to make progress in his recovery from a concussion suffered early in camp. Abojei was in street clothes in practice Wednesday, and Thursday he was in pads and a red medical jersey.
“He’s under concussion protocol,” head coach Craig Bohl said, “But he’s on track. We’re on hopes that we’ll have him all set early next week.”
Abojei was named a co-starter at left guard out of spring camp, but offensive line coach Scott Fuchs said this week it looked like Wyoming would start redshirt freshmen Keegan Cryder and Patrick Arnold at left guard and center, respectively. Junior Gavin Rush had been the other co-starter at left guard, but suffered a season-ending bicep injury in Wyoming’s lone fall scrimmage.
Seniors Zach Wallace, who is currently out with a foot strain, and Kaden Jackson are expected to start at left tackle and right guard, respectively; and redshirt freshman Rudy Stofer is expected to start at right tackle in place of Alonzo Velazquez, who was in street clothes at practice Thursday with a knee injury.
Bohl said he expects the team to announce its starting quarterback for the season Monday, when the depth chart for the New Mexico State game is announced.
“We’ll make a final decision,” Bohl said. “We’re going to do some work on Saturday, but it’s been a spirited competition, and it’s made each guy better.”
Senior receiver James Price should be cleared to return from a slight AC sprain on Monday, Bohl said. Price has been practicing in a non-contact jersey.
The Cowboys have two remaining practices this week, though Saturday’s practice is closed to the media.
“We made progress today,” Bohl said Thursday, “paying attention to details and having a hard edge and being physical and being fairly assignment conscious. ... I’ll watch the tape. There will be some things I’ll be disappointed in, but walking off the field, I think we made progress today.”