LARAMIE – If you’re a running back for the University of Wyoming, can break tackles, make defenders miss, have good speed and be capable in pass protection, there is a good chance you’ll see the field.
True freshman Titus Swen has shown all of those things, and his name is on UW’s depth chart less than two weeks before its Aug. 31 season-opener against Missouri at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.
“He’ll be playing in the first game,” sixth-year UW coach Craig Bohl said.
Swen and senior graduate transfer Trey Smith from Louisville were listed as “or” in terms of the backup behind sophomore starter Xazavian Valladay when UW released its first depth chart of fall camp Monday. However, Smith suffered a concussion in UW’s scrimmage last Saturday and has yet to return to practice. That means more practice reps for Swen, and one step closer to seeing game action.
“Titus showed some things in scrimmage I thought were really good,” Bohl said. “He put himself into contention (to be the first running back off the bench).
“He’s got to work on some things, but he showed some ability to make some nice cuts and make some people miss.”
Swen is listed at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, and is out of Eaton High in Fort Worth, Texas. Swen rushed for 3,467 yards in his three-year prep career, averaged 6.9 yards per carry and scored 44 touchdowns. He also caught 70 passes for 1,086 yards and nine touchdowns.
UW offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said Swen “runs angry.” When asked to describe that, Swen said: “I run with a passion. That’s pretty much it.”
Swen said coming from Fort Worth to Laramie humbled him because of the slower pace and fewer people. That turned to out be a blessing, because it gave him more time to focus on football.
“I’m very pleased where I’m at in terms of football, but I am not at the point I want to be,” Swen said. “I have to keep grinding, keep listening to the coaches and learn from it.”
Swen said one of his biggest attractions in signing with UW was its commitment to run the ball in its pro-style offense. He remembers watching senior Nico Evans lead the Mountain West in rushing last season with 1,325 yards.
“I want to do better than he did. I’m coming for him,” Swen said.
Redshirt freshman offensive guard Blayne Baker (concussion) returned to practice Tuesday on a limited basis.
Bohl said true freshman cornerback Caleb Roberson is out eight to nine weeks with a knee injury he suffered earlier in camp. Bohl said the injury won’t require surgery.
Still a competition
Sophomore Patrick Arnold was listed as the starter at left guard on UW’s depth chart ahead of sophomore Eric Abojei.
Left guard was one of the more competitive position battles during camp, but first-year offensive line coach Bart Miller said the competition isn’t over.
“Pat had a much better day Saturday (in UW’s first major scrimmage), but (Abojei) has stepped up since then,” Miller said. “It all is headed in a positive direction.”
Bohl was asked if the team is in game-prep mode for the season-opener against Missouri.
“I’m going to hold off on that. If my friend (Missouri coach Barry Odom) tells me what he’s doing, I’ll them what we’re doing,” Bohl said.
A scout from the NFL’s Houston Texas was at Tuesday’s practice.
The Cowboys practice at 10:30 a.m. today, which will be their 17th practice of camp.