Coach Bohl Breaks Down the Depth on Offense
Inside The Seams
From the desk of Tim Harkins/Wyoming Athletic Department
A look at the offensive depth by position:
“Our quarterback group is probably as advantageous as it’s been since I’ve been our head coach from the standpoint that we have two really quality players,” said Bohl. “We certainly finished last season on a high note. “Sean Chambers had, I thought, an excellent year prior to his injury. In his final game against Nevada before getting injured, I thought he was performing very well and was continuing to improve in a lot of areas. He was getting better and better.
“Levi Williams is a guy we were able to redshirt with the current NCAA redshirt rules. We incorporated him into the offense late in the season, and without question he played well in the bowl game. His physical development has continued. I think he’s over 240 pounds now.
“I think it is going to be important for us to figure out how to utilize both Sean and Levi. Both of them are smart players and the entire playbook will be open to them this year. They both possess really good leadership skills. Their ability to run is an X factor that is difficult to defend. While we don’t want to expose our quarterbacks too much, they do both give us that added dimension. We’ve talked about fashioning a different protocol to play both quarterbacks to some degree in each game, and that is not something we’ve done in the past but we’re exploring that.
“There are some similarities between the two of them, but there are also some differences. We have two guys who have shown the capabilities of competing at a high level. They both have to improve and how it shakes out during fall camp will have an impact. Collectively, that is a strong room.”
“Xazavian Valladay is our No. 1 guy at running back,” said Bohl. “Trey Smith is No. 2. We’ve got Titus Swen, then (Dawaiian) McNeely and (Alphonzo) Andrews. After that, you’ve got Brett Brenton and (Jeremy) Hollingsworth.
“X was First Team All-Conference last year. He’s had some explosive games. He has really good vision and quickness. Xazavian has gotten bigger. Trey was a really productive player for us before he got injured. He was granted a sixth year by the NCAA. We’re excited about him. He’s got good size and good hands. Titus hurt his knee and wasn’t able to finish the season, but he has really good ability to gain yards after contact.
“We certainly do have a deep group at running back returning. Xazavian really stepped to the forefront. Trey came in from Louisville last year and was having a good year, but then missed the back part of the season with the ankle surgery. Titus was a true freshman for us last year and came in and showed some real skill. Dawaiian McNeely is a young man who redshirted last year, and we feel has a really bright future. Alphonzo Andrews is another redshirt freshman there, and Brett Brenton out of Casper did some good things for us last year. We have a lot of depth, but it seems like we always need a lot of depth at running back as we go through the season.”
“Skyler Miller and Jeff Burroughs are our two main fullbacks we have coming back and both are seniors and Wyoming natives,” said Bohl. “We are of course one of the few teams in the country who still use a fullback some. We have another senior in Jahmari Moore and then we have a couple young guys joining the program this fall. Jahmari has been a valuable member of our squad and has been a great team player through the years. All three of our seniors are extremely bright young men. Skyler got some valuable game reps last year at fullback. Jeff played both fullback and running back for us last season, but will be primarily a fullback this season.
“At tight end, Nate Weinman returns and gives us a big tight end to help in the run game. Treyton Welch played in several games in the second half of the season. He did some good things last year and has put on some really good weight. He is able to stretch the field. Jackson Marcotte is coming off an injury, but gives us a good combination of size and speed. Parker Christensen is a young man from Sheridan, Wyo., who has had a really good offseason and we’re looking forward to seeing him make some good strides this coming season. Colin O’Brien is our one junior college signee in this class, who will also compete for playing time at tight end. I think we have pretty good talent at the tight end position. We may be utilizing our tight ends a little differently this year.”
“We have some guys returning who have played. Dontae Crow made some good contributions last year, and Ayden Eberhardt of course had the big touchdown catch in the bowl game. Both of those two are seniors,” said Bohl. “Gunner Gentry is another veteran who is returning. Those are the main three players who have playing experience. Then we have a group of young players in Alex Brown, Devin Jennings and Isaiah Neyor, who are really going to add some athleticism to our receiving corps. They all three redshirted last year.
“It is going to be important for us to improve in the passing game. Our completion percentage needs to start moving up over the 60 percent mark. Our yards per completion was fairly good last year, but we need to be able to create more big plays, and we need to have this group be able to come up with more balls when they are being contested by defenders.
“In the slot, we will have Dontae followed by Alex and Devin. We could also put Wyatt Wieland inside. We are going to rotate our receivers around during games, so they will be playing multiple positions. At the X receiver, we have Gunner and Ayden back. Isaiah is a redshirt freshman who got on the field a little at the end of the season, and then we have a group of other younger guys. We need to have some of our receivers emerge into playmakers this year.”
“I think this is the best offensive line group we’ve had since I’ve been head coach at Wyoming,” said Bohl. “We have a number of guys who’ve played a lot of football for us. It is certainly the deepest group we’ve had, and they’re starting to look like the group we had envisioned when we first came here. It is been a work in progress and has involved many years of development.
“At center, Keegan Cryder has played a lot of football for us over the past two seasons. Keegan has put on some great weight. He is very smart and is a very capable player. He’ll be backed up by Latrell Bible, who redshirted last season, and Marco Machado will be behind Latrell.
“Next to them at right guard is Logan Harris. Logan I thought took some great steps forward last season. He really had an excellent year. We were really excited about what he accomplished last season. Eric Abojei is our starting left guard. He was in the midst of an outstanding year before he was injured. Gavin Rush missed all of last season, but he is a veteran who has started before. We also have Zach Watts, who started the final three games of last season. With those four guys that I mentioned, we have a lot of experience and maturity. Blayne Baker is another young player from Sheridan who has played some for us at guard. Between the guard and center spots, we have a lot of very, very good players with lots of experience.
“At the tackle position, we’re going to take Alonzo Velazquez and move him from the starter at right tackle over to the left tackle spot. At the right tackle spot, we will have Frank Crum there. Frank made several starts at right tackle last year as a redshirt freshman when Alonzo was injured. Rudy Stofer was our starter at left tackle last year, and he will be competing for a starting role again this year. Between those three guys, two of them will rise to the top. We’ll probably need all three of them. Carlos Harrison is a player we redshirted last year along with Jack Lookabaugh and Connor Shopp from Casper, Wyo. Those are three young tackles who can provide us depth.
“We’re going to need to leverage the experience and depth we have in this group, run the football effectively, establish the line of scrimmage and get some movement up front, as well as do a better job in the pass protection game.”