LARAMIE – The Cowboys lost a projected defensive starter to the portal and officially signed five transfers on Tuesday.
Jaylen Pate, a sophomore defensive end from Chicago, is the 11th member of the 2021 Wyoming football team looking to play at another school.
After redshirting in 2019, Pate started all six games in 2020 and played in all 13 games with five starts last season. He had 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks during his UW career.
The other defensive starters from the Cowboys’ 52-38 victory over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to transfer are cornerbacks C.J. Coldon (Oklahoma) and Azizi Hearn (UCLA) and strong safety Rome Weber (Western Kentucky).
The Pokes lose starting defensive end Garrett Crall to graduation and defensive end Victor Jones has transferred to Akron.
Defensive ends DeVonne Harris and Solomon Byrd are expected to return along with starting interior defensive linemen Cole Godbout and Jordan Bertagnole.
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Bohl announced the signings of one junior-college transfer and four FBS transfers, including Wisconsin cornerback Deron Harrell, who had not publicly announced his commitment to the Cowboys.
Harrell, a senior from Denver with one year of eligibility remaining, had 26 tackles and eight pass breakups during his career with the Badgers in the Big Ten over 22 games with nine starts.
“Deron had some meaningful game reps in the Big Ten,” Bohl said in a release. “We know his defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, and Deron played on a great defense at the University of Wisconsin. It is unique that Deron played his high school football in Denver at Denver East, and we’re excited to have him join our program.”
Harrell is one of three Power 5 players to transfer to UW this offseason, along with Mississippi cornerback Jakorey Hawkins, who has two years of eligibility remaining, and Michigan State linebacker Cole DeMarzo, who has three years of eligibility remaining.
The trio will help defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel replace Coldon, Hearn and NFL-bound linebacker Chad Muma.
“Jakorey Hawkins is another young man who we knew his position coaches at Ole Miss,” Bohl said. “We watched a lot of tape on him from SEC games. We love his experience and his ability is going to add great value to our secondary.
“Cole DeMarzo played linebacker for (former UW defensive coordinator) Scottie Hazelton at Michigan State. Cole is very familiar with our system, and we got a great recommendation from Scottie on Cole.”
UW did not officially announce the signing of Air Force transfer TJ Urban, who is expected to join the program as a safety.
The two quarterback that will replace the roster spots vacated by Levi Williams (transferred to Utah State) and Sean Chambers (Montana State) are signed and ready to compete for the starting spot in 2022.
The Cowboys have officially added Utah State transfer Andrew Peasley, who has two years of eligibility remaining, and Snow College transfer Evan Svoboda, who has three years of eligibility remaining.
“We’re excited about Andrew. Obviously, he’s competed in the Mountain West,” Bohl said. “He had an outstanding performance against Air Force this past season. We love his maturity, his arm strength and his running ability. ...
“Evan is a young man who we’ve known about since his high school playing days. He’s certainly a developmental quarterback. He’s got great size and arm strength. Evan had some meaningful reps at Snow College, and we’re excited about his development.”
Follow UW beat writer Ryan Thorburn on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn