Wyoming Cowboys to Begin Fall Football Practice on Thursday, Aug. 6

Aug. 3, 2009

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LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The 2009 college football season will begin for the Wyoming Cowboys on Thursday, Aug. 6 when first-year head coach Dave Christensen will lead his Cowboys through their initial practice of the fall beginning at 3:45 p.m.

The first week of 2009 fall drills will feature one practice per day on Thursday (at 3:45 p.m.), Friday (at 8:45 a.m.) and Saturday (at 8:45 a.m.) in helmets and shoulder pads. Media Day will be held the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 8 from noon to 3:30 p.m. followed by a Fan Appreciation Autograph Session from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.

"The players have worked extremely hard throughout summer conditioning, and Coach (Trent) Greener and his staff have done an outstanding job with the conditioning program," said Christensen. "We had virtually all of our veterans and incoming recruits here during the summer, which is a great benefit when we start fall camp.

"I know the coaches and our players can't wait to get things going on Thursday."

Wyoming's first practice in full pads will be Monday, Aug. 10 at 8:45 a.m. The first day of two-a-day practices will begin Tuesday, Aug. 11, with practices at 8:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. that day.

A total of 17 starters return for the Cowboys, including seven on offense, eight on defense and two on special teams. Leading the way among those returning starters are three defensive starters who earned All-Mountain West Conference recognition a year ago. Senior defensive tackle John Fletcher was a Second Team All-MWC selection each of the past two seasons. Senior defensive end Mitch Unrein earned Honorable Mention All-MWC recognition in both 2007 and 2008, and junior free safety Chris Prosinski achieved Honorable Mention All-MWC for the first time as a sophomore last season. The defense returns eight of its top 11 tacklers from 2008.

On offense, the Cowboys return four of their top five receivers from a year ago. The offensive line returns three starters from the 2008 squad, and when you include in that mix senior center and team co-captain Russ Arnold, who was a starter in 2007, you have a combined 75 career starts among the projected offensive line starters.

One newcomer who wasn't in Laramie for summer conditioning, but who did finish his associate of arts degree during the summer and will be in Laramie to start fall camp on Thursday is junior-college quarterback Robert Benjamin. Benjamin, who will be a junior, signed with Wyoming in February after an outstanding career at Phoenix College in Phoenix, Ariz.

All fall practices for the Cowboys are scheduled for War Memorial Stadium or the Indoor Practice Facility and are open to the public.

Wyoming kicks off the 2009 season on Saturday, Sept. 5 when they will host the Weber State Wildcats in a game to begin at 1:00 p.m., Mountain Time.