With the report that RB James Davis has left the football program the problem of depth became even bigger for the Cowboys with nine games still remaining this season. Davis left the team for "personal" reasons and will stay enrolled at UW.
Davis was the #2 RB to start the season but lost plays when Nehemie Kankolongo came back from a one game suspension. In the season opener against Southern Utah Davis had two carries for fourteen yards and one reception for six yards. He had only one carry the next week against Texas for two yards and did not play against Boise State on Saturday.
Despite having only a few carries this season his 5.3 yards per carry was actually tops on the team. Alvester Alexander has 33 rushes for 78 yards for a paltry average of 2.4. This has come mostly against two of the top defenses in the nations the past two weeks but the run game overall has been abysmal for the Pokes.
Coming out Monrovia, CA in 2007 James Davis was a three star RB according to Rivals. After dealing with injuries and sitting behind Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon he came back this Fall and showed some nice flashes in practice.
Every FBS school is allowed 85 scholarship athletes on the roster per season. With the Pokes now 19 below that allotment it puts them at a serious disadvantage depth wise. FCS schools are allowed a maximum of 65 scholarship athletes on the roster so depth wise Wyoming is closer to Big Sky schools then Mountain West teams.
Also the depth that Wyoming has doesn't even run two deep at most positions. Coach Christensen is upset with the play of his offensive line this year but affirms that the best players are on the field because none of the younger players are ready to contribute yet. Luckily injuries have been few and minor this season allowing youngsters to keep their redshirts.
Player attrition is common when a new coach is hired, and Christensen said about one-third of his first recruiting class is no longer here. Much of that, he added, is that he and his staff had only about a month to put it together.
Since the end of last season, at least 10 players have either left or are not with the team now due to personal reasons or suspension.
I can certaintly understand that there will be some turnover with a coaching change and I think that Coach C is fair with his expectations and his requirements of his players. He is a no nonsense coach that requires hard work and players must buy into his system. As far as playing time goes he gives the best player the most playing time no matter their age. This has hurt the running back depth especially hard the last two years: Darius Terry, Brandon Stewart and James Davis are all RB's that have gotten playing time and are now longer on the team.
The Wyoming coaching staff has stated they plan on signing the maximum of 25 recruits over the next two seasons to get back to 85 scholarships. This will be a hard task as I'm sure there will be a few more athletes that will decide they want to step away from football as well as the loss of graduating seniors.
Against Air Force the Cowboys only have two RB's listed with Alexander starting and followed by Kankolongo. If one of the scout team players is added to the depth chart in the future I would imagine RS Fr Tedder Easton would have the inside track on the #3 spot.
Easton is a burly 5'11 235lb that was actually listed #3 at the RB spot this summer before Davis took over. Easton also got a number of reps during the spring practice. His size could be nice to have in short yardage or goal line situations.
Robert Herron is a speedster that has split his time at RB/WR but is still listed as a WR this week.
With the 25 scholarships spots that Wyoming can sign in Febuary some can be awarded to current walk on players. This is how Patrick Merterns earned his scholarship and he is now starting on the defensive line. No talk of any walk on players earning a scholarship has been buzzing yet but that usually happens after the season.