Sam Stratton came to Wyoming after starring at Chatfield HS in Littleton, CO as a dual threat quarterback. He used his redshirt in 2010 to help him adjust to the college game and also help recover from a severe knee injury suffered his senior year.
After coming to Wyoming the 5-11 190lb Stratton was converted to a wide receiver. He had a strong spring practice and had a great chemistry with Brett Smith. As a redshirt freshmen in 2011 he was listed as a wide receiver but also played a key role as the ballcarrier in the wildcat formation. The formation gained some popularity and became known as "The Wild Stratton". That year Stratton finished the year with three catches for 28 yards and had 16 rushes for 49 yards.
Unfortunately during the offseason Stratton suffered another knee injury during a workout and was forced to miss the entire 2012 season. Now he is healthy but what type of role will he play for the Pokes in 2013? Still listed as a wide receiver on the roster the only spot Stratton currently holds on the depth chart is as the holder for PAT's. There is tons of depth at wide receiver and it may be hard to break back into the rotation after missing a year.
Certainly he can contribute to more than just PAT's. Last year we learned how important the quarterback position is to Wyoming's success. There will be a continued emphasis on keeping Brett Smith healthy and keep him from taking any unnecessary hits. Without Smith at QB the Cowboys offense struggled mightily. Jason Thompson showed a very strong arm and is by far the best quarterback option besides Smith. Thompson was forced to burn a year of eligibility last year as Colby Kirkegaard was unable to lead the offense when given the chance against Cal Poly.
Ideally Smith will be healthy for all of 2013 and Thompson can finally keep his redshirt intact so that he has two years of eligibility left after Smith is done in 2014. Ideal situations don't always occur in football.
Could Stratton be the missing piece that is thrown into the equation? He could come in running situations to prevent Smith from taking some hits. Allow Thompson to spend another year learning and growing while keeping his redshirt intact. It could also take some pressure off Kirkegaard if he needs to play as well.
Stratton could be that offensive wildcard that Christensen plugs to give the offense a different pulse. He can run, catch and throw. He has the potential to be a very dangerous weapon for Wyoming.
During the spring practice Stratton was not used as a quarterback which is expected is they were trying to get plenty of reps to figure out the depth chart. However once the season starts and the coaches start game planning I think that is when could see Stratton worked more into the playbook.