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UW FOOTBALL

Cowboys add Michigan State LB Cole DeMarzo, former Wyoming WR Isaiah Neyor headed to Tennessee

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LARAMIE -- Wyoming lost players to the Big Sky, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference and a Mountain West rival this offseason.

Then Saturday the Pokes experienced both sides of the Power 5 revolving door.

Michigan State transfer Cole DeMarzo, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker from Hilton Head, S.C., announced he is transferring to UW.

Isaiah Neyor, the Cowboys' leading receiver who entered the NCAA transfer portal after the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, chose Tennessee as his landing spot.

DeMarzo is leaving the Big Ten for an opportunity to help the Cowboys replace All-American linebacker Chad Muma, who is preparing for the NFL draft after finishing second in the FBS with 142 tackles this season.

Neyor, who had 878 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns in UW's run-first offense, will now be in the SEC spotlight with the Volunteers.

"The journey that I took, it wasn’t the ideal journey where I came out of high school with all these offers," Neyor, who was also being recruited by LSU, Texas, USC and other Power 5 programs since entering the portal, told Rivals. "I started playing high school late, which kind of delayed everything. I had that offer from Wyoming and I took it and I told myself from day one I was going to give them everything that I had. I feel like I did that.

"I took that and now I’m in the portal looking to display that talent on a bigger platform. I’m looking forward to that."

DeMarzo joins a unit that has been the strength of the program since Logan Wilson took over the middle linebacker spot before being replaced by Muma in 2020.

The Cowboys return linebacker Easton Gibbs, who was second on the team with 89 tackles starting on the weak side opposite Muma in 2021, as well as top backups Shae Suiaunoa and Connor Shay.

A three-star prospect coming out of high school, DeMarzo chose Michigan State over offers from Air Force, Appalachian State, Army and Cincinnati.

After playing on the Spartans’ scout team as a true freshman in 2020, DeMarzo appeared in one game this season.

DeMarzo’s addition comes one day after Snow College quarterback transfer Evan Svoboda told the Star-Tribune he has accepted an offer from UW head coach Craig Bohl to compete for the starting job in 2022.

"If you need a first down, I can go get you a first down. I like that style with the reads," the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Svoboda said of offensive coordinator Tim Polasek's playbook, which also leans on quarterback runs. "Obviously they run a lot. For me, I hope they tweak it and air it out a little more."

Five of the 10 UW players that entered the portal since the end of the regular season have found new homes to date.

Quarterback Levi Williams is transferring to Utah State after leading the Cowboys to a victory over Kent State in the Potato Bowl to cap a 7-6 season for UW.

Defensive end Victor Jones will play at Akron and safety Rome Weber will play at Western Kentucky.

Jones tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks this season after being suspended in 2020. Weber was seventh on the team with 41 tackles after opting out of the 2020 season.

Backup safety Cameron Murray is transferring down to the FCS level to play for Northern Colorado.

Quarterback Sean Chambers, nickel back Keyon Blankenbaker, cornerbacks C.J. Coldon and Azizi Hearn and running back Xazavian Valladay are still searching for landing spots.

Follow UW beat writer Ryan Thorburn on Twitter @By_RyanThorburn

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