April 1, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy Football team will reach the halfway point of spring drills on Saturday, April 2 and head coach Joe Glenn couldn't be happier with how the spring has progressed.
The Cowboys' Saturday practice will be held in War Memorial Stadium from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will be a regular practice, no scrimmaging is planned. The practice is open to the public.
"We are right on track," said Glenn. "We probably are a little bit further along in the installation of our defensive system at this point, which is normal. But both the offense and defense are coming along right on schedule.
"I have been extremely pleased with the attitude and effort of the team."
The coach said that Saturday's practice would be similar to the first two weeks of practice.
"We may step up the contact a little bit," said Glenn. "But it will be in one-on-one drills -- not in a scrimmage format."
Glenn's philosophy regarding spring football is to emphasize teaching and installation of offensive, defensive and special-team systems. A total of 19 starters and 48 lettermen return from last year's Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl Championship. Nine of 11 starters return on offense, eight of 11 on defense, as well as the starting place-kicker and punter from last season.
"With the number of players we have coming back, I would say we have been more efficient and sharper in our installation process this spring," Glenn added.
"It all starts at the quarterback position, and it is very apparent that Corey (Bramlet) is so much more comfortable and confident this spring after running our offense for a season. He has really come a long way in terms of improving his (passing) accuracy. I expect Corey to be one of the top quarterbacks in the country this coming season."
The depth and competition for positions on the 2005 version of the Cowboy Football team is also very apparent. Glenn, who is entering his third year as head coach of the Cowboy Football program, says that the increased competition will make the Cowboys better across the board.
"We have a number of positions where players will be fighting for playing time," said Glenn. "That can only make us better on both sides of the ball. On special teams, the past couple of seasons we have had to play several starters on our special teams. With the pool of athletes we have now, I don't feel like we will have to play as many starters in that role. It also may allow us to get more young players on the field. "
"Jake (Doss) has been a little bit more efficient as we have evaluated practice tape," Glenn said. "But Stinson (Dean) has also done some really good things."
There are several individuals who Glenn said have impressed him thus far in spring drills.
"Derrick (Martin, junior cornerback) is such a competitor," Glenn said. "He never takes a play off. He provides great leadership -- he seems to bring his teammates along with him.
"John Wendling (junior free safety) has a great presence about him. He provides us both great athleticism and outstanding leadership.
"Corey (Bramlet, senior quarterback) is reading defenses much better this spring. The game seems to have slowed down for him, and his growth as a quarterback has really been impressive.
"Also on the offensive line, Brandon Avery (senior offensive tackle) has shown a lot of improvement, and Mark Schwarz (junior offensive guard) has emerged as an effective long snapper for punts and field goals.
"Jake Mayes (junior defensive tackle/noseguard) has given us a great effort throughout the first two weeks of practice.
"And a couple of young guys who have stood out to me are Wade Betschart (sophomore tight end) and Julius Stinson (sophomore cornerback). Wade continues to improve as he learns more about his position, and Julius has made some great one-on-one plays in drills."
Following Saturday's practice, the Cowboys will have two weeks of spring drills remaining. The Pokes will practice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons for the next two weeks, with a Saturday scrimmage planned on April 9 and the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 16. Both those Saturday scrimmages, April 9 and April 16, are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.