LARAMIE — The competition continues this spring at Wyoming.
The Cowboys held their seventh practice Tuesday at War Memorial Stadium as Wyoming continues to try to build strength in numbers. Some starting jobs are set while other spots atop the depth chart may not be decided until the fall, but Wyoming coach Craig Bohl and his staff are using the spring to evaluate their options and solidify depth at a number of positions.
A couple of positions Bohl mentioned in particular are linebacker and defensive end. The Cowboys have Casper native Logan Wilson back at middle linebacker, but fellow rising senior Cassh Maluia is limited this spring after Tommy John surgery, giving the Cowboys a chance to closely evaluate some of the other options there. Outside of sophomore-to-be Chad Muma, who’s repped at both linebacker spots this spring, nobody has emerged there.
“We’re going to continue to grind and try to find somebody,” Bohl said.
At defensive end, Davon Wells-Ross, Solomon Byrd, Teagan Liufau and Jack Boyer are among those rotating at defensive end with All-Mountain West performer Carl Granderson gone and Garrett Crall out this spring with a lower leg injury. Another defensive end, De’Vaughn Brown, has missed time this spring with a concussion.
Braden Smith and Cameron Murray continue to get most of the reps at free safety. Rising junior Esias Gandy repped at strong safety during the media’s viewing period Tuesday with Alijah Halliburton absent after a death in his family.
Fullback is another position Bohl is watching closely. Jaylon Watson is back for his senior season, but Bohl singled out Torrington native Skyler Miller, a converted linebacker, for his performance midway through spring drills.
“During the course of the spring, we’re trying to, I wouldn’t say give equal repetition, but we’re not worried about getting ready for an opponent,” Bohl said. “We’re trying to find depth, trying to evaluate and spread those repetitions. We’re grading everything.”
One position Bohl said he’s been pleased with is tight end, where the Cowboys are three-deep with fifth-year senior Josh Harshman, Nate Weinman and Jackson Marcotte.
“I think the tight end position is really starting to emerge into what we think could be a bright spot for us,” he said. “Nate Weinman and Jackson Marcotte are really showing some good signs.”
As for the quarterbacks, Bohl said there hasn’t been much separation in the competition between Tyler Vander Waal and Sean Chambers. But Bohl added he liked the progress both have made this spring and was particularly pleased with what he saw in the deep passing game Tuesday.
“Tyler has certainly been competitive, and I think he’s pushed Sean,” Bohl said. “Sean has responded and has done some things well. Both of them need to continue to work on getting better.
“We’re pleased. I think we’re further along than where we were at this time last year.”
Bohl said last week that Logan Harris had an MRI on his back and would see a specialist, but Bohl said Tuesday “everything is fine” with his rising junior offensive lineman. Harris practiced Saturday and Tuesday, getting reps at right guard Tuesday.
Fellow offensive lineman Zach Watts sustained a dislocated kneecap before practice ended. Receiver Austin Conway and defensive back Keyon Blankenbaker both wore street clothes as they continue to nurse hamstring injuries.
“I think all these guys are going to be coming back,” Bohl said. “It’s probably going to be a week Running back Reow Jackson (concussion, Achilles) practice on a limited basis Tuesday while cornerback C.J. Coldon (arm) has been cleared for full contact.