Senior Leaders Impress Bohl This Spring

April 13, 2016

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

With the conclusion of Tuesday’s 10th practice of spring, Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl provided media members analysis of both his team’s practice on Tuesday, as well as a recap of last Saturday’s scrimmage after he and his coaching staff had an opportunity to evaluate video of the scrimmage. A group of senior leaders were among the players Bohl highlighted, including: wide receiver Tanner Gentry, tight end Jacob Hollister, nose tackle Chase Appleby, offensive guard Chase Roullier and linebacker Lucas Wacha.

“We did some live work today, including some pass under pressure,” said Bohl. “Kind of like Saturday, I thought our defense is moving around well. We’ve got some good speed on defense. That is a strength for us.

“We need to continue to work with our quarterbacks as far as their decision making. Josh (Allen) had some good throws on Saturday. There was a stretch in there where I thought he was really in sync. We’re going to need to be more consistent at quarterback. We do think that Josh is playing better than Nick (Smith) right now, but we’re going to continue to evaluate that.

“Tanner Gentry had another good day today. I think he is proving to be a really consistent threat. I also think Jake Hollister did some good things at the tight end position.”

Bohl added that he has seen positive play from members of the defensive line this spring, including two young defensive tackles and a senior nose tackle.

“Youhanna Ghaifan (redshirt freshman) showed up well in the scrimmage Saturday and showed up well again today,” said Bohl. “We’re pleased because we have Conner Cain (sophomore) and Youhanna inside at tackle, so that is a good combination. They are both young, but they’re both really playing well. Chase Appleby has had a really good spring, and has separated at the nose guard position.”

In the Cowboy secondary, sophomore cornerback C.J. Jennings has impressed Bohl and his defensive staff.

“There are certainly spots where guys are stepping up,” said Bohl. “We feel C.J. Jennings is emerging as one of our best corners. He is a guy who played some last year, but he continues to show us what he is capable of. We have a little bit of a grouping after that, with Robert Priester, Davion Freeman and Antonio Hull. But C.J. has separated himself a little bit. We’ll see in the back half of spring ball how the other guys respond. “Chase Roullier has really established himself as our top offensive lineman. Kevin Prosser and Carl Granderson have done some really good things at the defensive end position.”

Bohl was asked to comment on the leadership being provided this spring by senior middle linebacker Lucas Wacha, who will be playing the middle linebacker spot for the second year in 2016 after starting his career as an outside linebacker.

“Lucas’ leadership certainly has been at a different level this spring,” responded Bohl. “He’s in charge of a lot of our defensive calls. He’s grown accustomed to that position now. He has played a lot of football here, wants to have his best year and we’re pleased with his progress.

“There are a lot of moving parts in our Tampa-2 defense, and that guy is really the quarterback of the whole thing. In the Tampa-2 system, the middle linebacker has to be aggressive, but more so he has to be someone who has a command of our defense and has an understanding of what guys are doing in front of him, beside him and behind him. We’re really pleased with Lucas and how he’s played this spring.”

Several injured players returned to the practice field on Tuesday, including: senior linebacker D.J. May; junior offensive tackle Ryan Cummings; sophomore running back Nico Evans; and sophomore offensive tackle Brinkley Jolly.

The Pokes have five of 15 spring practices remaining, including Thursday and Saturday practices this week.

2016 University of Wyoming Football Spring Practice Schedule
Tuesday, April 12 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Practice #10)
Thursday, April 14 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Practice #11)
Saturday, April 16 - TBA (Practice #12)

Tuesday, April 19 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Practice #13)
Thursday, April 21 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Practice #14)
Saturday, April 23 - 2 p.m. (Spring Game, Practice #15)