Nico Evans rushes the ball up the middle in the 2018 edition of the Brown & Gold game. (Photo: UW Athletics)

The quarterback battle is neck and neck

Senior Nick Smith and Redshirt Freshman Tyler Vander Waal have taken equal reps this spring as they battle to become the QB in the post Josh Allen era. Both QBs had their ups and downs in spring ball and that was seen in the Wyoming spring game as well. Wyoming will make a decision this week on who the starter heading into the summer and fall camp will be. It should be noted that Craig Bohl has said whoever wins the initial job will not be “entrenched” as the starter. The QB who “wins” the job this spring might not be your starting QB come the time conference play rolls around.

The question is what side of the coin will Craig Bohl and offensive coordinator Brent Vigen fall on. All things being equal will they go with a win now mentality and play the senior Smith who knows the system and has some experience. Or will they go with the greenhorn and let him learn on the job which may be better for the long-term health of the program, knowing he could be a three or four year starter?

No in-game injuries

Head coach Craig Bohl reported no major in-game injuries after the spring game which is a major relief for the coaching staff. Wyoming was short-handed at several position groups heading into spring ball due to a myriad of injuries that ruled players (a bulk of whom played defense) out of spring ball. The physical nature of Wyoming’s style took its toll over spring as well with Wyoming losing some wide receivers, running backs, offensive lineman and defensive lineman due to injury. The Pokes were so thin along the defensive line that walk-on kickers were taking reps at defensive end just to get through the Cowboys allowed fifteen spring practices.

Back to the weight room

This is still a young football team and they did not have an official head strength coach last season. In January, Wyoming added Ben Iannacchione from LSU (one of the top strength programs in the country) and we saw some major improvement in the body types of the players over winter conditioning. The same type of effort and results will need to be seen over the summer as Wyoming looks to get stronger and faster which in return will help with depth especially along both the offensive and defensive lines.

Wyoming has done a good job of recruiting players who are more physically able to play Division I college football but they are still not finished products. All players can improve their speed and strength and being a developmental program there are always going to be cases where the Pokes will have players who will need major body transformations. One such player is Carl Granderson who has developed into one of the top defensive lineman in the Mountain West through intensive work in the weight room. Can another Granderson type player start his journey to stardom in the new High Altitude Performance Center this summer?

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