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Wyoming Cowboys release final Spring depth chart

Posted at 6:30 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:48:10-04

(UW Athletics release)

LARAMIE, Wyo. — With the conclusion of Spring football Saturday, the University of Wyoming coaching staff released its final spring depth chart on Wednesday as the Cowboys head into summer.

Among the position battles that were most closely watched during Spring Football was the quarterback position, where senior Nick Smith and redshirt freshman Tyler Vander Waal were competing.  Vander Waal is listed No. 1 on the depth chart heading into the summer, with Smith listed second, but head coach Craig Bohl emphasized that the quarterback competition, like all other positions on the team, will continue into the fall.

“It was a lengthy evaluation, and I think that evaluation is going to continue to go on in the fall,” said Bohl.  “However, we think it is important to let guys know where they stand.  Both quarterbacks had a really good spring.  Nick (Smith) has made progress and Tyler (Vander Waal) has, as well.  That competition raised the bar for both of them.  We looked at the total body of work throughout spring, and then we made this decision.

“I think it’s important that both quarterbacks know that there is going to be continuing evaluation in the fall.  We’ve always had the opinion that it is counter productive to say we’re going to play two quarterbacks, but I know there is going to be continuing competition.”

Another position that was hotly contested in Spring Practice was the cornerback position where redshirt freshmen C.J. Coldon and Keyon Blankenbaker were competing for the cornerback spot opposite redshirt junior Antonio Hull.  Coldon is listed No. 1 at one cornerback spot, and Hull at the other, but in the Wyoming defensive system three cornerbacks often see playing time.  Hull was injured in the first game of the 2017 season at Iowa, missed the remainder of the season and received a medical redshirt.  He has started 20 career games, including 11 games as a sophomore in 2016 and nine as a true freshman in 2015.

“Right now we have Antonio Hull and on the other side C.J. Coldon and Keyon Blankenbaker.  Those three are rising to the top.  Certainly Antonio didn’t play last fall, but he did some good things this spring.  C.J. made some great growth and so did Keyon, so we’ll carry that into the fall.”

There were no real surprises on the Cowboy defensive depth chart as the defense returns eight starters, with the only losses being 2017 senior cornerbacks Rico Gafford and Robert Priester and 2017 senior nickel back/linebacker Jalen Ortiz.  Junior Tyler Hall, who played cornerback the past two seasons, has moved into the starting spot at the nickel position, and will be backed up by senior Chavez Pownell Jr.

On the offensive line some young players emerged to earn top spots on the depth chart entering the summer.  Redshirt freshman center Keegan Cryder is listed atop the center position.  At left guard, redshirt freshman Eric Abojei is listed as the co-starter with junior Gavin Rush.  The other three offensive line positions return starters in senior left tackle Zach Wallace, senior right guard Kaden Jackson and sophomore right tackle Alonzo Velazquez.

“Our center, Keegan Cryder, really had a great offseason. He’s got great strength,” said Bohl.  “That gave us the luxury of moving Logan Harris over to guard.  We’ve got Eric Abojei as the starting left guard along with Gavin Rush.  We’re excited about the depth there.

“Certainly, Kaden Jackson has played a lot, so has Zach Wallace.  And Alonzo Velazquez is at the other tackle spot.  We’ve got probably more depth on the offensive line than we’ve had in awhile.  Rudy Stofer (redshirt freshman offensive tackle) has come in and done some good things.”

The other position on offense that will continue to be contested throughout fall camp will be running back where junior Kellen Overstreet, senior Nico Evans and sophomore Trey Woods are all listed as co-starters entering the fall.

With spring practices complete, the Cowboys will have only weight training and conditioning sessions for the remainder of the semester as they turn their attention to academics.  Spring semester final exams begin on Monday, May 7.

“We’ve had our exit interviews and evaluations with our players following the Spring Game,” said Bohl.  “They’ll focus on their finals now and do some weight lifting before they come back for summer.”

4 Antonio Hull (5-10, 202, RJr., Diamond Bar, Calif.)
22 Sidney Washington Jr. (5-9, 170, So., Fresno, Calif.)

Strong Safeties
28 Andrew Wingard (6-0, 210, Sr., Arvada, Colo.)
3 Alijah Halliburton (6-2, 190, Jr., Aurora, Colo.)

Free Safeties
6 Marcus Epps (6-0, 197, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.)
24 Braden Smith (5-10, 182, So., Lakewood, Colo.)

21 C.J. Coldon (6-1, 180, RFr., Belleville, Ill.)
18 Keyon Blankenbaker (5-10, 175, RFr., Oak Park, Ill.)

Nickel Backs / Strong-Side (SAM) Linebackers
9 Tyler Hall (5-10, 190, Jr., Hawthorne, Calif.)
7 Chavez Pownell Jr. (5-11, 205, Sr., Tampa,Fla.)

Middle (MIKE) Linebacker
30 Logan Wilson (6-2, 240, Jr., Casper, Wyo.)
45 Adam Pilapil (6-1, 220, Sr., Torrance, Calif.)

Weak-Side (WILL) Linebackers
46 Cassh Maluia (6-0, 243, Jr., Compton, Calif.)
50 Ryan Gatoloai-Faupula (6-1, 216, So., Sacramento, Calif.)

Defensive Ends
91 Carl Granderson (6-5, 261, Sr., Sacramento, Calif.)
53 Josiah Hall (6-1, 248 , Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Nose Tackles
96 Sidney Malauulu (6-3, 310, Sr., Seoul, South Korea)
87 Conner Cain (6-4, 288, Sr., Littleton, Colo.)
86 Javaree Jackson (6-5, 273, So., Wauwatosa, Wis.)

Defensive Tackles
93 Youhanna Ghaifan (6-4, 290, Jr., Grand Island, Neb.)
98 Ravontae Holt (6-4, 258, So., Sacramento, Calif.)

Defensive Ends
42 Kevin Prosser (6-2, 227, Sr., Aurora, Colo.)
88 Garrett Crall (6-5, 242, So., Hicksville, Ohio)

40 Cooper Rothe (5-11, 174, Jr., Longmont, Colo.)

27 Tim Zaleski (6-5, 221, So., Oak Lawn, Ill.)

Long Snappers
99 Jesse Hooper (5-11, 234, Fr., Draper, Utah)

11 Nick Szpor (6-3, 212, Jr., Fresno, Calif.)
25 Austin Conway (5-10, 183, Jr., Aurora, Colo.)

18 Tyler Vander Waal (6-4, 220, RFr., Elk Grove, Calif.)
15 Nick Smith (6-4, 228, Sr., Merritt Island, Fla.)

Running Backs
29 Kellen Overstreet (5-11, 209, Jr., Hamilton, Mo.) OR
22 Nico Evans (5-9, 211, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.) OR
6 Trey Woods (6-3, 216, So.,North Bend, Ore.)

35 Jaylon Watson (6-0, 250, Jr., Broken Bow, Okla.)
47 Austin Lopez (6-3, 230, Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Wide Receivers (X)
80 James Price (6-2, 212, Sr., Camas, Wash.)
2 Jared Scott (6-6, 230, So., Oak Park, Ill.)
8 Dontae Crow (5-9, 178, So., Sheridan, Wyo.)

Wide Receivers (Z)
25 Austin Conway (5-10, 183, Jr., Aurora, Colo.)
14 C.J. Johnson (6-2, 198, Jr., Bellevue, Neb.)
19 Ayden Eberhardt (6-2, 190, So., Loveland, Colo.)

Tight Ends (Y)
85 Tyree Mayfield (6-3, 241, Sr., St. Joseph, Mo.)
81 Austin Fort (6-4, 244, Sr., Gillette, Wyo.) OR
33 Josh Harshman (6-3, 230, Sr., Casper, Wyo.)

Left Tackles
72 Zach Wallace (6-7, 314, Sr., Lake Zurich, Ill.)
62 Rudy Stofer (6-6, 290, RFr., Kearney, Neb.)

Left Guards
69 Eric Abojei (6-5, 351, RFr., New Hope, Minn.) OR
55 Gavin Rush (6-3, 305, Jr., Phillips, Neb.)
79 Logan Harris (6-3, 298, So., Torrington, Wyo.)

73 Keegan Cryder (6-4, 283, RFr., Littleton, Colo.)
57 Patrick Arnold (6-3, 296, RFr., Omaha, Neb.)

Right Guards
61 Kaden Jackson (6-2, 299, Sr., Kingfisher, Okla.)
64 Zach Thatcher (6-4, 282, So., Pueblo, Colo.)

Right Tackles
78 Alonzo Velazquez (6-6, 288, So., Janesville, Wis.)
77 Pahl Schwab (6-5, 302, Jr., Afton, Wyo.)
Return Specialists

Punt Returners
25 Austin Conway (5-10, 183, Jr., Aurora, Colo.)
8 Dontae Crow (5-9, 178, So., Sheridan, Wyo.)

Kickoff Returners
9 Tyler Hall (5-10, 190, Jr., Hawthorne, Calif.)
22 Nico Evans (5-9, 211, Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.)