LARAMIE – It’s not fair to be compared to Josh Allen.
The former Wyoming star and current Buffalo Bills franchise quarterback is a rare talent with a remarkable story.
But Evan Svoboda believes in himself and has a lot in common with Allen at this early stage of his football journey.
The lightly recruited 6-foot-5, 235-pound junior college prospect told the Star-Tribune on Friday that he has committed to play for the Cowboys.
Svoboda, who spent his freshman season at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, plans to enroll at UW for the spring semester to begin competing to be the starter in 2022.
“Since hearing about Josh’s story, it’s always been an inspiration,” Svoboda said. “At Snow (College), I would always read these articles and see these videos like almost every night before I went to sleep. I would always just kind of read like what his path was through JUCO. I know how he had to sit five games and then he was the guy. Then no one wanted him and he had to email all these schools. Then Wyoming came.
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“To kind of have that and see that someone else has done that, it actually is truly inspiring.”
UW had been recruiting Svoboda since the end of his junior season at Red Mountain High in Mesa, Arizona, even before he became the starting quarterback as a senior.
Running backs coach Gordie Haug was the first member of the staff to reach out to Svoboda. Former offensive coordinator Brent Vigen recruited him until leaving for Montana State, and current offensive coordinator Tim Polasek continued the recruitinment.
Originally, Svoboda – who had a list of FCS offers coming out of high school – planned to join the Cowboys as a preferred walk-on. He said those plans changed due to the pandemic and he decided to spend a developmental year in junior college.
When both Levi Williams and Sean Chambers entered the NCAA transfer portal following the Pokes’ victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Svoboda’s antenna went up when he saw Bohl’s social media post announcing the program was in search of the next Allen.
“Wyoming, it just so happens that both of their quarterbacks decided to transfer,” Svoboda said. “It’s kind of a weird situation. Thankfully for me, I’ve been in contact with them for a while.”
UW also made an offer to Buffalo graduate transfer Kyle Vantrease, who passed for 4,755 yards with 38 touchdowns (25 passing, 13 rushing) and 13 interceptions during his career with the Bulls.
Bohl and his staff are likely still in the market to add an experienced signal-caller to a young quarterback room, but Svoboda is looking forward to making his presence felt during spring practice.
“With all the guys (in the portal) and musical chairs and everyone’s trying to find a home, it’s cool that they took a chance on a guy from junior college to kind of see what he can do,” Svoboda said.
Svoboda finished his senior season in high school, which was limited to seven games due to the pandemic, 87-for-156 passing for 1,286 yards with 13 touchdowns. In four appearances at Snow College, he completed just 6 of 12 passes for 28 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
Despite limited game action, Svoboda’s decision to take the junior college path instead of an FCS offer or a preferred walk-on spot paid off.
“Everyone’s hungry, everyone really wants to get out. I think going there was actually part of my destiny and it was a good step in the right direction for me,” said Svoboda, who wore No. 17 at Snow College. “If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely go to Snow and definitely continue to bet on myself.”
Svoboda is looking forward to joining redshirt freshmen Gavin Beerup and Hank Gibbs (6-5, 226), Utah transfer Jayden Clemons (6-1, 208) and incoming true freshman Caden Becker (6-4, 220) in the battle to lead the Pokes’ offense.
“With my competitive edge and my drive and my passion, I think I can come in there and improve that QB room,” Svoboda said. “And really, really compete for it, be the guy.”
Follow UW beat writer Ryan Thorburn on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn