LARAMIE — Keegan Cryder has made the move to the outside of Wyoming’s offensive line this spring — one head coach Craig Bohl isn’t ruling out being permanent for the rising sophomore lineman.
“It could be,” Bohl said.
Cryder has been getting reps at right tackle for the last couple of practices. The 6-foot-4, 297-pounder earned freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America last season at center, but attrition has left the Cowboys thin at the tackle spots.
Wyoming lost four-year starter Zach Wallace and reserve Pahl Schwab to graduation while Alonzo Velazquez, who started five games at right tackle last season, isn’t going through spring as he continues to work his way back from a knee injury, leaving Cryder and Rudy Stofer as the tackles. Coaches also entertained the idea of taking a look at guard Zach Watts at tackle before the spring, but Watts is also out for an undetermined period of time after dislocating his kneecap earlier this week — an injury, Bohl said, that won’t require surgery.
Beyond the slim numbers, Bohl said Cryder is versatile enough to play either spot.
“Keegan’s a guy that can go either way,” Bohl said. “What we’re trying to do is find our best five guys. During the fall, we’ll take a look at how Alonzo does coming back, but Keegan’s got a good skill set and he’s a smart guy.”
Keeping the pressure on
Bohl said the offensive line got as much push as it has all spring during an inside-run drill Thursday, but the third-and-long passing session belonged to a defensive line that Bohl has repeatedly praised for being disruptive this spring.
Davon Wells-Ross, Solomon Byrd, Leevi Lafaele and Teagan Liufau are getting extended looks at defensive end with projected starters Garrett Crall and Josiah Hall on the mend this spring. Bohl noted the group’s speed and quickness made it difficult for the offensive line to keep the pressure off the quarterbacks Thursday even if the youngsters still have more developing to do.
“We’re a little thin at that spot, so it’s given our younger players an opportunity to show some things,” Bohl said. “They’re still a ways off from where the other guys are.”
Quarterback Levi Williams and receiver Devin Jennings are going through the spring as early enrollees after inking with Wyoming during the early signing period, but only one of the incoming freshmen is still participating.
Jennings has been shut down after recently sustaining a foot injury that will keep him out four to six weeks, Bohl said. The 6-2, 175-pounder signed with the Cowboys out of Channelview High in Texas.
As for Williams, Bohl said the three-star recruit out of Smithson Valley High (Texas) is acclimating to Wyoming’s offense as well as can be expected for a quarterback that should still be in high school.
“Levi is doing some good things integrating in with our offense, and our offense is complicated,” Bohl said. “I think it’s a real bonus that both of those two guys have been here.
Scrimmage on deck
Wyoming will make the trip to Casper on Saturday for its first full-scale scrimmage of the spring. Bohl said the the scrimmage will last roughly 77 plays excluding special teams.
The scrimmage at Natrona County High School’s Cheney Alumni Field will begin at 1 p.m. and is open to the public.