The Wyoming defense line took an unexpected hit today with the news that starting left defensive end Ben Durbin is transferring to Iowa State for his senior year. The Cyclones announced the transfer today, the University of Wyoming has not released any statement at this time. Even though Durbin is a senior he will be able to play right away. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology this spring which he won't need to sit out a year. Durbin used his redshirt in 2008, didn't play in 2009 and then spent the last two years at defensive tackle.
"I was at Wyoming for four years and Laramie is a great place," Durbin said. "This is not about Wyoming. I talked to my friends and family about it. Iowa State is doing great things under (Iowa State head) coach Paul Rhoads. Coming home is a dream. Believe me, I appreciate this opportunity."
The Gilbert, Iowa native always felt that he was a Cyclone and wanted the chance to play in front of his family. He was not offered by Iowa State as a high school linebacker and chose Wyoming.
In the off season Durbin was moved from tackle to defensive end where he was a starter throughout the spring. The problem I have here is how long did Durbin know he was going to transfer? He took all those reps with the #1 defense this spring and the Pokes will see no benefit. Someone else who will actually wear brown and gold in 2012 could have used that valuable practice time.
The Pokes do have some depth at defensive end, so at least the cupboard is not completely bare.
Currently Miraldo Michel is listed as the backup behind Durbin, followed by Jeff Rouche. There is also a chance that Eddie Yarbrough could make the move the from right defensive end where is currently backing up Sonny Puletasi.
Mark Willis has also played the last two seasons but dealt with injuries this spring. The latest recruiting class included a number of talented linemen. The staff was very high on JUCO transfer Justin Bernthaler who will enroll see action . There are also highly rated high school signees Uso Olive and Sam Awrabi.
This will now be one of the biggest position battles in August to watch. Any thoughts on who ends up taking the starting spot?