Wyoming Announces 2008 Football Recruiting Class Highlighted by Several Impact Players

Feb. 6, 2008


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  • Signee Bios
  • Coach Glenn's National Signing Day Press Conference Call Audio
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    Orlando Arnold,Adam Barry,Eric Benson,Matt Birkeness,James Caraway,Chance Crawford,Dax Crum,Jim Downs,Ben Durbin,Tashaun Gipson,Ryan Handford,David James,Dylan Kildahl,Kyle Magnuson,Austin McCoy,Donate Morgan,Justin Morgan,Corey Orth,Brandon Ribble,Levi Salmans,Trevor Shaw,Nick Williams

    University of Wyoming head football coach Joe Glenn announced his sixth recruiting class at Wyoming on Wednesday. The 2008 Cowboy recruiting class features a number of future impact players for the Cowboys led by:

    • One of the top junior college quarterbacks in the nation in Dax Crum from Mesa Community College in Arizona, as well as one of the top ranked high school quarterbacks from the state of California in Adam Barry of Simi Valley, Calif.;

    • A tandem of talented tight end/h-back prospects in Orlando Arnold, a junior college transfer from Contra Costa Community College in California, and Brandon Ribble, an All-Colorado selection at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colo.;

    • The No. 1 ranked linebacker and No. 9 ranked overall recruit from the state of Iowa in linebacker Ben Durbin from Gilbert, Iowa;

    • And a group of six young offensive linemen highlighted by the top recruit at any position in the state of Wyoming in Jim Downs from Glenrock, Wyo., and one of the best high school linemen from the state of Colorado in All-Colorado honoree Nick Williams from Highlands Ranch, Colo.

    "With the addition of Dax Crum and Orlando Arnold, we're going to bring instant competition that I think will energize our team and put a buzz into the program," said Glenn. "I also believe we have a couple of grayshirts and a transfer on campus right now that have a chance to impact this team. Donate Morgan will be one of the fastest players on our team at wide receiver, and he showed that in practice this past year as he sat out to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. We need some help at the cornerback position with the graduation of Julius Stinson and Mike Medina, and we hope that Ryan Handford, with his speed and quickness, is a young man who will compete for playing time at that position.

    "I will tell you that Orlando Arnold is one of the most athletic tight ends that I've ever had the opportunity to coach. He's big, fast, athletic and can catch the ball. He also starts on his junior college basketball team, and from talking to his junior college coaches has a great work ethic on the practice field. He has a presence unlike few players that I've ever been around.

    "The young men that we are bringing in from the high school ranks will give us as much speed as we've ever had in a recruiting class since we've been here at Wyoming. Josh Birmingham was the state 100-meter dash champion in his classification in the state of Oklahoma. James Caraway from Topeka, Kan., and Tashaun Gipson from Dallas both have great speed. Then you have Brandon Ribble, who is one of the best high hurdlers in the state of Colorado.

    "Not only do we have athletes who can run, but we're bringing in some good size in Jim Downs from Glenrock, Wyoming; Nick Williams, one of the top linemen in Colorado; and Kyle Magnuson, who has been one of the best offensive linemen in the state of Indiana the last couple of seasons. I also like the toughness of this group. We had several of them in our summer camps, and have had an eye on a number of them for a long time."

    The national letter-of-intent signing period began Wednesday, Feb. 6 and ends April 1, 2008.

    Wyoming has one remaining scholarship to give.

    University of Wyoming Cowboys 2008 Football Signings
    (Alphabetical, As of Feb. 6, 2008)

    Junior-College Signees Already Enrolled at UW (1)
    Junior-College Signees Who Will Enroll at UW in the Fall of 2008 (1)
    Transfers From Four-Year Colleges (1)
    Grayshirt Signees From 2007 (2)
    High-School Signees (17)
    Totals (22)

    Junior-College Signees (Enrolled at UW Spring of 2008) (1)

    Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Last School)
    Dax Cum* QB 6-4 210 So. Phoenix, Ariz. (Mesa CC, Ariz.)

    Junior-College Signees (Will Enroll at UW Fall of 2008) (1)

    Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Last School)
    Orlando Arnold TE 6-4 255 Jr. Richmond, Calif. (Contra Costa CC, Calif.)

    Transfers From Four-Year Colleges (On Scholarship Fall 2008) (1)

    Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Last School)
    Donate Morgan WR 5-11 185 Jr. Chicago, Ill. (St. Joseph's College, Ind.)

    Grayshirt Signees Feb. 2007 (Enrolled at UW Spring 2008) (2)

    Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Last School)
    Ryan Handford*# CB 5-9 175 Fr. Corona, Calif. (Santiago)
    Levi Salmans*# OL 6-7 275 Fr. Lafayette, Colo. (Monarch)

    High-School Signees (17)

    Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Last School)
    Adam Barry QB 6-1 210 Fr. Simi Valley, Calif. (Moorpark)
    Eric Benson S 6-2 182 Fr. Tempe, Ariz. (Corona Del Sol)
    Matt Birkeness LB 6-4 215 Fr. Littleton, Colo. (Columbine)
    James Caraway WR/RB 5-11 170 Fr. Topeka, Kan. (Highland Park)
    Chance Crawford LB 6-3 215 Fr. Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)
    Jim Downs OL 6-7 265 Fr. Glenrock, Wyo. (Glenrock)
    Ben Durbin LB 6-3 220 Fr. Gilbert, Iowa (Gilbert)
    Tashaun Gipson CB 6-0 180 Fr. Dallas, Texas (Kimball)
    David James CB 5-11 175 Fr. Edmond, Okla. (Edmond Memorial)
    Dylan Kildahl* DE 6-4 240 Fr. Ault, Colo. (Highland)
    Kyle Magnuson OL 6-6 305 Fr. Elkhart, Ind. (Concord)
    Austin McCoy P/K 6-3 190 Fr. Winter Haven, Fla. (Winter Haven)
    Justin Morgan WR 6-2 180 Fr. Chicago, Ill. (Mt. Carmel)
    Corey Orth* DL 6-5 240 Fr. Buena Vista, Colo. (Buena Vista)
    Brandon Ribble H-Back 6-5 193 Fr. Arvada, Colo. (Ralston Valley)
    Trevor Shaw DE 6-4 230 Fr. Fort Collins, Colo. (Poudre)
    Nick Williams OL 6-5 265 Fr. Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Highlands Ranch)

    * Enrolled at the University of Wyoming and on scholarship starting January of 2008.
    # Grayshirts who went on scholarship in January of 2008. These grayshirts were originally signed in February of 2007, but count toward the 2008 recruiting class total.