July 30, 2012
LARAMIE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Cowboys will be looking to build on their most successful season since 1998 when they open 2012 fall camp on Monday, Aug. 6 with an 3:45 p.m. practice on the South Practice Field in Laramie. Wyoming posted an 8-5 record and third-place conference finish a year ago, including a bid to the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
Next Monday's first practice will be the Cowboys first of 25 fall practices in preparation for the 2012 season opener at Texas on Sept. 1.
Fall practices will be open for the first hour to media and the public. After that first hour the remainder of each practice will be closed. That one-hour open period will be in effect for practices from Aug. 6 through Aug. 21. When the Cowboys begin their first regular week of game preparation on Friday, Aug. 24 the open period will return to the first 30 minutes of practice as was the policy last season.
The Pokes are scheduled to conduct three fall scrimmages which will each be open to the media and public. Those three scrimmages will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 3:45 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m.; and Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 8:45 a.m.
Wyoming's first two practices will be in helmets only, with no pads, to conform with NCAA rules requiring an acclimation period prior to teams progressing to full-padded practices. The first full-padded practice will be on Friday, Aug. 10.
Fourth-year head coach Dave Christensen will see 13 returning starters and 41 returning lettermen take the field when the Cowboys begin fall drills.
"I feel that this is the most experienced team we've put on the field since I've been here," said Christensen. "Our players have been working extremely hard during our summer conditioning program, and I like the leadership on this team.
"We're coming off a very physical spring practice. I liked the intensity and physical play that our team exhibited in the spring, and I expect that to carry through into the beginning of fall camp."
Among the leading returning starters is sophomore quarterback Brett Smith, who was voted the 2011 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year last season and also earned First Team Freshman All-America honors from CollegeFootballNews.com. Smith is the only sophomore in the nation to be named to the 2012 Manning Award Watch List, which honors the nation's top quarterback at the conclusion of each college football season. Two other Cowboys have also been named to preseason watch lists. Senior center Nick Carlson has been named to both the Rimington Trophy Watch List, honoring the nation's top center, and the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, honoring the nation's top lineman. Senior free safety Luke Ruff has been named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List. Carlson, Ruff and senior defensive tackle Mike Purcell were all selected to the 2012 Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Team as voted on by conference media members.
While Smith was able to throw during spring football, he was held out of contact drills following offseason surgery. Smith, along with senior safety Ruff and senior wide receiver Chris McNeill were all limited in spring practice due to offseason surgeries, but all three are back healthy to begin fall camp.
"We look to have virtually everyone back healthy to start camp," added Christensen. "I'm excited to get a look at a number of players who missed all or a portion of contact drills in the spring. I'm also looking forward to getting our first look at our newcomers to see which of them might be able to help us this season.
"I know our coaching staff and our players are all focused on continuing to build this program and reach new heights."
The Cowboys are scheduled to report back to campus on Sunday, Aug. 5. Among the items on their schedule the first day are player physicals, meetings on NCAA rules, an academic meeting for first-year players and a team dinner.
The first week of 2011 fall drills will feature one practice per day from Monday through Friday. The first two-a-day practices will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11, with that afternoon's practice also being the first scrimmage of fall camp.
The only Cowboy who likely will miss the 2012 season due to injury is sophomore wide receiver Sam Stratton, who underwent offseason surgery following an injury suffered in winter conditioning.
Media Day will be held on Friday, Aug. 10, beginning at noon with lunch for media members in the Wildcatter Stadium Club & Suites. Lunch will be followed by media interviews with players and coaches on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, beginning at 1 p.m.
Ticket information for the 2012 Wyoming Football season can be found at: www.WyomingAthletics.com or by calling the UW Athletics Ticket Office toll free at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or 307-766-4850.
2012 University of Wyoming Football Fall Practice Schedule
Date / Practice Time / Practice Details
Monday, Aug. 6 / 3:45 p.m. / Helmets Only (Practice #1)
Tuesday, Aug. 7 / 8:45 a.m. / Helmets Only (Practice #2)
Wednesday, Aug. 8 / 8:45 a.m. / Helmets and Shoulder Pads Only (Practice #3)
Thursday, Aug. 9 / 8:45 a.m. / Helmets and Shoulder Pads Only (Practice #4)
Friday, Aug. 10 / 8:45 a.m. / First Practice with Full Pads (Practice #5)
Noon-1 p.m. / Media Day Luncheon in Wildcatter Stadium Club
1 p.m. / Media Day Interviews on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium
Saturday, Aug. 11 / 8:45 a.m. / Shells (Practice #6)
3:45 p.m. / First Fall Scrimmage (Practice #7)
Sunday, Aug. 12 / 3:45 p.m. / Shells (Practice #8)
Monday, Aug. 13 / 8:45 a.m. / Full Pads (Practice #9)
3:45 p.m. / Helmets and Shoulder Pads Only (Practice #10)
Tuesday, Aug. 14 / 8:45 a.m. / Full Pads (Practice #11)
Wednesday, Aug. 15 / 8:45 a.m. / Full Pads (Practice #12)
3:45 p.m. / Shells (Practice #13)
Thursday, Aug. 16 / 8:45 a.m. / Full Pads (Practice #14)
Friday, Aug. 17 / 8:45 a.m. / Shells (Practice #15)
Saturday, Aug. 18 / 10 a.m. / Scrimmage #2 (Practice #16)
Sunday, Aug. 19 / NA / No Practice
Monday, Aug. 20 / 8:45 a.m. / Full Pads (Practice #17)
Tuesday, Aug. 21 / 8:45 a.m. / Helmets and Shoulder Pads (#18)
Wednesday, Aug. 22 / 8:45 a.m. / Scrimmage #3 (Practice #19)
Thursday, Aug. 23 / NA / No Practice
Friday, Aug. 24 / 8:45 a.m. / Begin Regular-Season Practice Schedule preparing for season opener versus Texas on Saturday, Sept. 1
Monday, Aug. 27 / NA / First Day of Classes, No Practice
3 p.m. / First Weekly Football Press Conference