Last year, the Wyoming faithful wondered how we could ever replace Robert Herron. This year, we have to worry about replacing Dominic Rufran and Jalen Claiborne. Sure, they’re only two players on a football team. However, they were numbers 1 and 2 in both receptions and receiving yards. Between the two of them they had 41% of the receptions and 43% of the passing yards. Having to replace nearly half of your production is never easy, but we definitely have the tools to do it. Here’s a few names you need to become familiar with.
Wyoming’s biggest receiving threat coming back is Tanner Gentry, the junior receiver from Aurora, Colorado. Last year we was able to haul in 32 passes with an impressive 13.6 yards per catch. Moving from the number 3 receiver to being the top dog, we can expect his production and targets to both increase. Secondly, Jake Maulhardt is going to get the starting reps in the number 2 spot. His massive 6’6” frame will almost certainly help him get consistent looks in the red zone and third-down situations. These two can provide Wyoming fans with both comfort and confidence heading into the 2015 season.
The unknowns are really what gives the entire squad a leg-up from last year. The Cowboys will be relying a lot upon their youth as they look to step forward, particularly in the passing game. Incoming freshman Dameko Doddles and Justice Murphy will have a chance to make a difference right away. The biggest improvement could come from junior Jacob Hollister. Hollister hauled in 17 passes as the number 2 tight end for the better part of the year. His experience and comfort within the system should equate to a bigger year statistically.
The first year in Coach Craig Bohl and Offensive Coordinator Brent Vigen’s offense didn’t prove to be nearly as pass-happy as Dave Christensen. With more balance, the Cowboys won’t depend nearly as much on the arm of quarterback Cameron Coffman as much as they have other quarterbacks in years past. However, when called upon, this young receiving corps should be able to answer the call and step into action when they’re needed.