We wanted to provide a deeper look into the 2014 recruiting class. So ChiefMojo and I got together to answer a few questions on the class. Let us know what you think of our answers and feel free to share your own thoughts.
Player most likely to contribute in 2014:
Chief Mojo: At this moment I would think Aaron Young probably holds that distinction. With the departure of Brett Smith to the NFL and Jason Thompson to transfer, there is no returning starter at quarterback. Young has the advantage over the others due to the fact he has college experience and is coming from a Pro-Style offense. It will be interesting to see how the two returning quarterbacks on roster (Thornton/Kirkegaard) function from under center this coming Spring.
The Road: Quarterback will have plenty of competition as you mentioned. I feel that with the new offense, the tight end position will be very competitive as well. I can see Jacob Hollister having a big leg up in the competition for a starting spot by already enrolling. That extra time to learn the offense and work with the strength and conditioning program will be huge. Hollister is 6'4 230 lbs and has great hands since he was a quarterback in high school.
Player with the biggest impact after 4 or 5 years:
Chief Mojo: This is a tough one to pick as we don't know how players will develop over the next couple of years. Not to mention some positions are easier to showcase than others.
I think we have some prospects in this recruiting class that could turn into tremendous players down the road but there is one player who I think can be a poster child for Wyoming Cowboy football under Coach Bohl. That player in my opinion is La Habra, California linebacker Alex Bush. He plays with a nasty demeanor but also has good athletic ability and ball skills.
The Road: While Jacob Hollister will likely have the biggest impact in 2014, I see the high school tight ends eventually having a bigger impact on the program. With the size and frame of Grant Lewis and Brinkley Jolly, I expect big things from down the road. They are low on experience right now, they will big dangerous weapons in just a couple years.
Most under-rated recruit:
Chief Mojo: With a class made up of so many under the radar type signees, it is tough to pick just one player. I'm going to go with St. Joseph (Central) Missouri tight end Tyree Mayfield. I think Mayfield is one of those kids that has the athletic ability to be a big-time pass catching threat for the Cowboys after some physical development. With the emergence of the hybrid tight end in college and pro game, I think Mayfield is that type of player. You can tell he was a good basketball player and someone that could probably play numerous positions on both sides of the ball.
The Road: I think a ton of people are sleeping on RB Nico Evans. With the switch to a pro style offense, everyone is projecting a running game that is loaded with 220 lb running backs. Many fans seem bewildered that Wyoming would offer a 5'9 177lb running back. I don't expect that Evans that will be the primary back in Bohl's system, I do believe that he will be a change of pace runner that will give the offense an extra dimension. Evans' greatest asset are his hips and feet, he is able to adjust directions very quickly and stay at top speed. He is able to make defenders miss easily and open up big gains. Take a fresh look at his highlights and I believe you'll be impressed. This could end up being the second coming of the "Thunder and Lightning" days from the mid 90's.
Recruit that best fits the "Cowboy Tough" persona:
Chief Mojo: I know I have brought him up earlier, but Alex Bush fits that bill most definitely. Since I used him once already, I'll bring up another name that I think screams "Cowboy Tough".
I truly believe Highland Ranch (Valor Christian) Colorado offensive guard Ryan Cummings is that blue collar tough SOB in the trenches. With the new staff moving towards more of a power run game, I think Cummings has the make-up to be a mainstay along the offensive line. Teams that line up and play smash mouth football generally have offensive lineman that are road graders. That would definitely give off the perception of "Cowboy Tough".
The Road: This fall was tough for fans and players. There was one recruit who not effected by all the changes. He stayed very positive about the program, and couldn't wait to get to Laramie. OL Richard Bettencourt attended the Boise State game this fall with family all decked out in Wyoming gear. In December he spent a lot of time chatting with other Wyoming recruits, several of them ended up committing. Bettencourt loves the outdoors and embraces life in Laramie. He graduated in January in order to get a start on his college career.
Most versatile recruit in this class:
Chief Mojo: There are multiple prospects on the defensive side of the ball that I could pick here. With that said, I will go with Tampa (Robinson) Florida corner back Robert Priester. Priester is one of those dynamic prospects that could succeed on either side of the ball. He could be a wide receiver, return man or corner back. It looks like the staff is looking at him mostly as a corner/nickel back/return man.
The Road: With the size and speed of Alex Bush, I can see him playing either an inside or outside linebacker position. Since he is currently the only linebacker in this class, it is nice to have some versatility. His ferocious play will make him an impact player where ever he is able to get on the field. Even though there are plenty of senior linebackers, Bush could have the opportunity to contribute right away on special teams.