LARAMIE – One thing was missing among the University of Wyoming’s 18 early signees.
A player from Colorado.
Colorado is one of the Cowboys’ most important and biggest recruiting areas. Twenty-four players from there are listed in UW’s 2018 media guide, the second-most of any state (29 from California). Fifth-year coach Craig Bohl said Wednesday even though there weren’t any players from Colorado signed, it doesn’t mean he and his staff are not recruiting there.
“I don’t know if there is a staff that culls through the state of Colorado more thoroughly as we do,” Bohl said. “There are guys we will continue to look at and actively seek.
“Some years there’s going to be more players that fit the Wyoming profile than others.”
One of those players is wide receiver/tight end Micah Hilts (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) from Vista Ridge High in Colorado Springs. Hilts received an offer from UW on Tuesday. Bohl said one of the priorities heading into the second signing period on Feb. 6 is to sign a big tight end.
Hilts received a three-star rating out of five by 247sports.com. As a senior he caught 27 passes for 417 yards and six touchdowns, and over his high school career had 70 catches for 1,105 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Going back to Cali
Cornerback Caleb Roberson (5-7, 175) was UW’s lone signee from Missouri. Roberson went to high school at Cardinal Ritter Prep in St. Louis.
However, Roberson grew up in California as was a high school state champion in the 300-meter hurdles last year. Even though Roberson played football at Cardinal Ritter, UW director of recruiting Justin Mesa said he is transferring back to California to defend his state title this spring.
UW signed eight players from California during the early signing period, the most from any state.
Eight of UW’s 18 signees received a three-star rating out of five by 247sports.com.
That meant little to Bohl.
“In our recruiting philosophy, we don’t get into ratings on stars and things like that. We go by our ratings,” he said. “The competition we encountered with some of these guys, they had a lot of options.”
Bohl said UW having three consecutive .500 or better season and the debut of the High Altitude Performance Center this year were big factors in the early signees picking UW.
There was something else.
“Our current players,” Bohl said. “They truly are our best recruiters.”
Five of UW’s signees have or will play in postseason all-star games, including all three from Minnesota.
Offensive lineman Latrell Bible (6-4, 262) from Minneapolis, defensive end DeVonne Harris (6-4, 220) and tight end Treyton Welch (6-3, 207) played in the Minnesota High School All-Star Game on Saturday.
Offensive tackle Jack Lookabaugh (6-5, 292) of Coppell, Texas, played in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Arlington, Texas, the same day.
Linebacker Isaiah Abdullah (6-3, 190) from Los Angeles will play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Dec. 26-31.
Safety Keonte Glinton (6-0, 175) from Bakersfield, California, played cornerback, wide receiver and running back at Bakersfield Christian High.
His coach was Darren Carr, and Carr’s offensive coordinator was his older brother, David, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft by the Houston Texans. David was a quarterback, played in the NFL for 10 years and went to college at Fresno State.
Wide receiver Devin Jennings (6-2, 175) went to Channelview High in the Houston area. His high school coach was Averion Hurts, whose son, Jalen, is a quarterback at Alabama. Jalen Hurts played his high school football at Channelview.
Players who were injured last season appear to be making a good recovery.
Quarterback Sean Chambers broke his leg in the Nov. 17 home game against Air Force. Bohl said his surgery went well and he is expected to be ready for spring football in March. Chambers played in only four games, and because of new redshirt rules in college football, he comes back in 2019 as a redshirt freshman.
Junior-to-be offensive tackle Alonzo Velasquez missed seven games due to a knee injury that required surgery, but Bohl said he is doing well and should make a full recovery. Velasquez has started in all 15 games he’s played for the Cowboys.
Bohl also said senior-to-be tight end Josh Harshman should be back after suffering a season-ending knee injury in UW’s third game at Missouri.
One player who isn’t expected to participate in spring drills is senior-to-be defensive end Josiah Hall, who recently had knee surgery to repair some cartilage. Hall is expected to be ready for the start of the season.
Robert Gagliardi is the WyoSports senior editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-755-3325. Follow him on Twitter at @rpgagliardi.