(Editor's note: UW Athletics release)
LARAMIE, Wyo. - The early signing period for college football teams began on Wednesday and the Wyoming Cowboys announced 17 high school student-athletes who signed with the Pokes, including six players from the state of Texas, 11 three-star recruits and nine players who were ranked among the best recruits in their states this year.
Wyoming's 2021 signing class includes players from Texas to California, as well as having a strong regional representation with signees from Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Utah. Two recruits from Illinois and one from the Kansas City metro area also became Wyoming Cowboys on Wednesday.
Recruiting across the country changed this year with a variety of restrictions being put in place that grew out of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The NCAA put a moratorium on in-person recruiting this year and some states postponed high school football seasons this fall.
Despite those restrictions, National Signing Day was once again one of the most exciting times of the year for recruits and their families and college football programs across the nation.
"Our staff did an outstanding job of adjusting our recruiting strategy this year with the onslaught of COVID-19 that affected how we went about recruiting," said Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl. "We normally lean heavily on senior evaluations in our recruiting and on in-person recruiting. This year due to COVID, the NCAA did not allow coaches to go out and visit recruits in person and in many cases there wasn't a lot of senior tape to evaluate as some states delayed their high school football seasons. Despite that, our staff did an exceptional job of finding young men who fit our recruiting profile.
"We are extremely pleased with the 17 young men who committed to us today, and we think they will make a significant impact on our program moving forward."
The national letter-of-intent early signing period for football began on Wednesday, Dec. 16 and will conclude on Friday, Dec. 18.
In addition to the early signing period for football, there is a Midyear Junior College Transfer signing period from Dec. 16 through Fri., Jan. 15, 2021 and the regular signing period for football from Wed., Feb. 3 through Thursday, April 1.
∙This year's position breakdown sees 12 recruits on the defensive side of the ball and five on offense. Of the defensive signees: six are defensive backs, four are defensive linemen and two are linebackers. Offensively, UW signed two offensive lineman, one running back, one tight end and one wide receiver.
∙A year ago, Colorado led the way for Wyoming with six signees, followed by four from California. This year, the state of Texas leads the way with six signees, followed by four from Nebraska, two from Illinois and one each from Wyoming, California, Colorado, Kansas/Missouri and Utah.
2021 Wyoming Football Early Signing Class Select Highlights
Individual Recruiting Rankings
∙Of Wyoming's 17 early signees, 11 of the 17 were rated as three-star recruits by 247 Sports.
∙Nine members of Wyoming's 2021 recruiting class were rated by 247 Sports among the best players in their states, including three individuals who were ranked among the Top 30 recruits in their states. Zaire Jackson was rated as the No. 25 overall recruit in the state of Colorado. John Michael Gyllenborg was rated as the No. 27 overall recruit in the state of Missouri, and Jaylen Sargent was rated as the No. 27 overall recruit in the state of Utah.
∙Two Cowboy signees from the state of Illinois were ranked in the Top 100 players. Cornerback Jovan Marsh from Robbins, Ill., was rated as the No. 58 overall recruit in Illinois. Offensive Lineman Jack Walsh was rated as the No. 65 overall recruit in the state of Illinois.
∙Speaking of Jack Walsh -- he is the son of former Wyoming Cowboy John Walsh, who was a reserve offensive lineman for UW in the late 1980s. John Walsh was a member of Wyoming's 1987 and '88 Western Athletic Conference Championship teams under former head coach Paul Roach.
Cowboys Continue to Sign the Best Players From Wyoming
∙It has been a priority for the Wyoming Cowboys under head coach Craig Bohl to sign the best players from the state of Wyoming. That priority continued this year as Andrew Johnson from Cheyenne Central High School signed with the Pokes. Johnson was named to the Sports Illustrated High School All-America Watch List prior to the 2020 season. He was a unanimous Class 4A First Team All-State selection at wide receiver as a senior as selected by the Wyoming Coaches Association and also earned First Team All-State honors as a defensive back both his junior and senior seasons. Johnson also was named to the 2019 Casper Star-Tribune Super 25 team as a junior.
∙Among the 2021 Wyoming recruits are a number who have achieved at an extremely high level academically.
∙John Michael Gyllenborg was named to the Academic All-State team by the Missouri Football Coaches Association. He was also recruited by the likes of Columbia of the Ivy League.
∙Jaylen Sargent, from Logan, Utah, was recruited by Ivy League member school Dartmouth.
∙Jordon Vaughn, of Manvel, Texas, was not only recruited by a number of FBS programs such as Air Force and Army but was recruited by no fewer than six Ivy League schools -- Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale.
Other Individual Highlights
∙Caden Barnett, an offensive lineman from Justin, Texas, was rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports and earned First Team All-District Class 5A Division II honors during his high school career.
∙Wrook Brown, a safety from Salado, Texas, was named the 2020 MVP of Texas District 9 of Class 4A Division II.
∙Will Evans, a defensive tackle from Houston, Texas, was rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports. He was also ranked among the Top 350 players in the state of Texas.
∙John Michael Gyllenborg, a tight end from Rockhurst High School in the Kansas City metro area, was rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports. He was ranked as the No. 27 overall recruit in the state of Missouri.
∙Zaire Jackson, a cornerback from Valor Christian High in the Denver metro area, was rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports. Jackson was ranked as the No. 25 overall recruit in the state of Colorado.
∙Andrew Johnson, a safety from Cheyenne Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyo., is a two-time First Team Class 4A All-State selection and was also named to the Casper Star-Tribune Super 25 team.
∙Jovan Marsh, a cornerback from Robbins, Ill., was rated a three-star recruit by 247 Sports, and was the No. 58 ranked recruit in the state of Illinois.
∙Tommy McEvoy, a linebacker from Clarkson, Neb., is a former First Team All-State Class D2 running back in the state of Nebraska.
∙Jaylen Sargent, a wide receiver from Logan, Utah, was rated a three-star recruit and the No. 27 overall recruit in the state of Utah by 247 Sports.
∙Sam Scott, a linebacker from Omaha, Neb., wanted to play football so bad his senior season that when his high school was unable to play this past fall he transferred to Omaha Skutt Catholic and helped lead them to the 2020 Class B State Playoffs as both a linebacker and running back.
∙Kolbey Taylor, a cornerback from Houston, Texas, was rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports and earned Second Team All-District 22-6A honors during his high school career.
∙JJ Uphold, a defensive tackle from Bakersfield, Calif., was rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports and was ranked as the No. 180 overall recruit in the state of California this year.
∙Jordon Vaughn, a running back from Manvel, Texas, was rated as a three-star recruit and was ranked as the No. 202 overall recruit in the state of Texas this year. He helped lead his Manvel High team to its 10th consecutive District Championship in 2020.
∙Jack Walsh, an offensive lineman from Palatine, Ill., was rated as a three-star recruit and the No. 65 overall recruit in the state of Illinois.
∙Tyce Westland, a defensive end from Pleasanton, Neb., was named First Team All-State Class D2 and was selected as the Kearney Hub 6/8-Man Player of the Year, playing in Class D2, which is 8-Man football.
∙Tommy Wroblewski, a safety from Saint Paul, Neb., led his Saint Paul High team to the Semifinals of the 2020 Nebraska Class C1 State Playoffs. The all-around athlete accounted for 1,315 all-purpose yards as a running back and was credited with 68 total tackles on defense.
∙Micah Young, a defensive end from San Antonio, Texas, was named an Associated Press First Team All-State Class 5A selection at linebacker his junior season of 2019. He was rated as a three-star recruit and was ranked as the No. 256 overall recruit in the state of Texas by 247 Sports his senior season.