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Shamiel Gary, Ian Watts and David Tooley won't return to Wyoming next year

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Looks like there will some more competition for starting spots this Spring and Fall.  The Wyoming Cowboys are losing three students after it was announced they leaving school after the first semester.  The players include two year starting Strong Safety Shamiel Gary, two starter Kicker Ian Watts and TE David Tooley.  All three players are Sophomores who made a big impact during their time in Laramie.

Gary missed the final two games of 2010 after attending a funeral for a family member.  There were rumors that he would be leaving at that time but no announcement was made.  Here is part of the release from the University:

Laramie, Wyo. (Jan. 7, 2011) -- University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen announced on Friday that three football players will not be returning to the Cowboy Football team when the 2011 spring semester begins on Monday, Jan. 10.

Sophomore strong safety Shamiel Gary, sophomore place-kicker Ian Watts and sophomore wide receiver David Tooley will not be returning to the Wyoming Football program. Watts, who was Wyoming’s starting place-kicker, is academically ineligible and will not return. Tooley was suspended indefinitely from the Wyoming Football program early in the 2010 season. Tooley didn’t play in any games in 2010, and will not return. Gary started the first 10 games of the 2010 season before not playing in the final two games of the year. Gary has chosen not to return to Wyoming.

Gary can transfer to another FBS school and sitout 2011 and use his redshirt year if he chooses then play in 2012 and 2013.  He could also transfer to a FCS school and play immediately.  Wyoming will now have three open spots in their secondary for 2011 as FS Chris Prosinski and CB Marcell Gipson will graduate in the Spring. 

Watts was a nice surprise for the Pokes after walking on and making several clutch kicks during his tenure.  Watts was suspended for the season opener but there was no word of academic struggles until this point.  There is no other FG kicker on the roster but the Pokes are heavily recruiting Daniel Sullivan from Jackson HS in  Washington State.  We've known about the offer to Sullivan for a few weeks now but never put it together that Watts was on his way out.

Tooley blew out his knee late in his freshman year and was never the same.  He tried to practice at full speed in the Fall and then left school and went home to Missouri.  He came back and joined the team a week later but was suspended.  Tooley made some great clutches for the Pokes which gave a little bit of a legend among fans but honestly TJ Smith looks like he'll way more productive for the Cowboys.

The biggest issue here is the depth that Wyoming is losing.  They went through 2010 with less than 70 players on roster and need two full recruiting classes of 25 to get back above 80.  Losing these three would be Juniors doesn't help those efforts.

In other football related news the University also announced a swap in coach responsibilites. 

Jan. 7, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. - University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen announced on Friday that he has reorganized some coaching and administrative duties within his staff beginning with the 2011 spring semester.

Mike Fanoga, who had been the outside linebackers' coach for the Cowboys the past two seasons, will now be the Director of High School and Campus Relations for the Wyoming Football program.

Matt Rahl, who has been the Director of Recruiting the past two years, will retain that responsibility but will now be an Assistant Coach and will coach the Cowboy outside linebackers.

"I believe it is important to continually evaluate our program and find ways to make it the best it can be," said Christensen. "I felt that to best utilize Mike's (Fanoga) and Matt's (Rahl) talents, these new responsibilities would accomplish that and would help make our program better."

Christensen and his staff are entering their third year at Wyoming in 2011.

Glad that both coaches keep their jobs and hope this will increase the performance of the Outside linebackers in 2011.