Coach Bohl Breaks Down the Depth on Defense
Inside The Seams
From the desk of Tim Harkins/Wyoming Athletic Department
“At defensive end, we have some guys who have played well for us in the past,” said Bohl. “Garrett Crall will be one of the bell cows of our defense this season. He is a senior, who we feel really good about. At the other defensive end spot will be Solomon Byrd. Solomon did some great things as a freshman last season. Other returners at D-end are Leevi Lafaele, Teagan Liufau and Davon Wells-Ross. Davon had a big play in the Missouri game, where he helped stop a touchdown. Leevi and Teagan are both coming off injuries last season. Jaylen Pate is a redshirt freshman as is DeVonne Harris. Jack Boyer is another young player who could provide depth.
“At the 3-techinque would be Ravontae Holt. We didn’t have Ravontate last year. He re-tore his ACL before the season. He is a talented player. He’ll be backed up by Victor Jones and Claude Cole. Victor is a veteran, who was a strong contributor for us last season. Claude is a young interior defensive lineman who we see contributing this season.
“Our nose tackles will be Mario Mora, Cole Godbout and Justis Borton. Mario is a young man who played for us last year at nose tackle. We feel like he is an excellent player. Cole Godbout also had some really meaningful reps during his redshirt freshman season, and Justis is a senior from Wheatland, who has been a great team player for us during his career.
“We have a couple of other young interior D-Linemen, who will compete for playing time in Alonzo Hall, Akili Bonner and Jordan Bertagnole from Casper.”
“We had both our MIKE and WILL taken in the NFL Draft this past spring -- Logan Wilson in the third round by the Bengals and Cassh Maluia in the sixth round by the Patriots,” said Bohl. “Chad Muma was our back-up at both those positions last year. This coming year, he will be locked in at the MIKE position. Chad is smart, athletic and is a playmaker. He’s played a lot of football, and we’re excited about him. He’s been a good player for us the past two years, and I think he can be even better. In the middle behind Chad will be redshirt freshman Shae Suiaunoa, and behind him is Ray Rabou, who is another young player who will give us depth at the MIKE spot.
“At the WILL spot, we have Charles Hicks slotted for that spot. Charles has shown some good things. Behind him is Easton Gibbs and Brennan Kutterer.
“We have some other young players who could provide us added depth at those two positions.
“At the nickel position, we have a really experienced player in Keyon Blankenbaker returning. Keyon played that spot for us all last year. He was a corner prior to that. I feel very good about him. Then we have Keonte Glinton, a redshirt freshman who will be an athletic player to add to that position. Joining those two are Blake Harrington and a true freshman, Wyett Ekeler, who has shown us some good things early. He’s smart and is a good player.”
“At free safety, Rome Weber has had a great offseason. He’s a good player,” said Bohl. “Rome started last year as a freshman. He’s an excellent tackler and covers a lot of ground. He’ll be joined by a senior in Braden Smith and a sophomore, Cameron Murray. We’ve got a good group of experienced players there. “At strong safety, senior Esaias Gandy has played a lot on defense and on special teams for us. He came up with a really big hit in the Missouri game last season. Mile Williams is behind him. Miles will be a junior and has played a lot for us, particularly on special teams the past two seasons.
“Our cornerback spots have Azizi Hearn returning. Azizi did a really good job for us last year after transferring in from Arizona and was a great team player. C.J. Coldon is coming back from injury, and we know what C.J. can do when he is healthy. He is a very talented player. Behind those two veterans are Caleb Roberson, a redshirt freshman, and Taylor Dodd, a junior from right here in Laramie. Trae King is another young player who returns and then there are a couple freshmen after that.”
“We’re a little bit of a work in progress on special teams having had both our place-kicker, Cooper Rothe, and punter, Ryan Galovich, graduate,” said Bohl. “Place-kicking -- Luke Glassock from Buffalo, Wyo., was with us last year as a back-up to Cooper Rothe. Jesse Hooper is back as our long snapper. Jesse has been very accurate. I can’t think of many bad snaps he’s had, and he covers the field well on punt coverage. We’re searching for a punter. We have a graduate transfer in Nick Null from Cornell. We recruited Nick as a punter, but he also wanted an opportunity to be a placekicker. We’re going to take a look at him both punting and kicking. That is a hard combination to do, but we’re going to give him a shot at both.”