The Wyoming Cowboys have lost two starting quarterbacks in as many weeks. Junior Brett Smith declared a year early for the NFL draft last week. The one bit of solace for Poke fans was knowing that they had a very talented understudy ready to go in sophomore Jason Thompson. As freshmen Thompson appeared in six games when Smith was injured. He displayed a powerful arm with an effortless throwing motion. In order to maximize his eligibility, Thompson redshirted the 2013 season. That would have provided him with three full years of eligibility and the inside track at the starting spot.
Instead Thompson is now enrolled at the University of Utah which also happens to be the new employer of former Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen. Wyoming AD Tom Burman has confirmed that Utah went through the proper channels when reaching out to Thompson. Due to transfer rules Thompson will be forced to sit another year and be left with just two years of eligibility.
Roster turnover is one of the unpleasant effects that takes place with a coaching change. This isnt the first time in Cowboy history that a player left school and given up a starting position. Thompson deserves to be at a school where he is happy. There were rumors that he was considering transferring after his freshmen year. The fact that he followed Christensen stings the hearts of Wyoming fans.
So what is Wyoming left with? The cupboard is quite bare at the moment. Freshmen Tommy Thornton is the only QB on scholarship at the moment. Thornton appeared in five games when the outcome was already clear. He didn't make any plays that stood out. The Pokes currently have one QB commit in Austin Fort from Gillette, WY. The 6-4 210lb dual threat QB has nice size and tools but likely still needs some time to polish his mechanics. He won't be able to enroll till this summer.
Now Coach Bohl has even bigger task on the recruiting front. The three key positions that Bohl pointed out in his initial press conference were "quarterback, defensive tackle and cornerback". He knew they had a great quarterback already, that statement is harder to make today.
The Pokes could go after a junior college quarterback or two to help balance out the depth chart with some upperclassmen. Otherwise Wyoming could find itself once again with a group of youngsters fighting it out for the starting spot.
When it rains..... it pours....