Aug. 6, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The wait is over.
After much anticipation Wyoming's 2003 football campaign is less than a month away. So much of that excitement is thanks to head coach Joe Glenn and his staff. The new era begins Wednesday as the Cowboys open fall camp with their first practice. Glenn welcomes 105 veterans and newcomers, including 20 walk-ons, to the opening workout which begins at 10 a.m. Of the total, there are 46 lettermen returning from last year's team, 22 on offense, 21 on defense and 3 on special teams. That breaks down to seven offensive starters, seven defensive starters and two on special.
"We are excited to get underway, but it's obviously a very important time for us," the new head coach said Tuesday. "We're anxious to see who checks in, and what kind of condition they are in. We are happy to have our recruits, we've been all over the country to get them. We will find out if any of our new guys can make the two deep.
"We suspect that some of the young guys will help us," Glenn continued. "In fact, we are counting on it. There are jobs still open, especially on defense. We are looking. Safety, cornerback and defensive line are critical areas for us, and positions, in many cases, are up for grabs. In some cases we are looking for possible starters, but also to fill out the two deep. All the way along we will be looking at special teams."
Glenn did single out some "rookies" whom he felt will receive extra looks. His focus was on the secondary. "We're anxious to see guys like Terrell Vinson (corner from Irvine, Calif.), Derrick Martin (corner, Westminster, Colo.), Drew Larson (kicker, punter from Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Mike Groover (defensive end, Boulder, Colo.)
"A guy who has showed me something with how well he did in summer school is transfer Terrance Butler (corner, Tuskegee University). He could help us in the secondary right away. We're also counting on Leonard Jones (senior corner from Denver). We moved Leonard to the secondary in the spring, and he made a great deal of progress. We are anxious to see if he continues to make that kind of progress during camp."
Thanks to some new NCAA legislation, this year's fall camp will differ from year's past. Newcomers report with the veterans unlike previous seasons when they arrived early for three days of orientation. Another new wrinkle involves two-a-day practices. After four days of single practices, the Cowboys will begin a schedule of a day with two practices, followed by a day with one, then two, then one. The first two-a-day session is Monday, August 11.
"Based on some of the tragedies that have happened on the field in the heat, the measures have been taken for the health and safety of the kids," Glenn said. "Although we don't have the heat and humidity up here, I think this schedule is still a lot easier on the bodies. We can get done what we need to get done. I think these changes are positive for the collegiate game."
While Glenn and his staff have an eye on identifying those newcomers who may help right away, the lion's share of the work in fall camp goes to the number one units. "We will have two weeks to identify newcomers who can help us, and get plenty of reps for our starters. That final week will be a regular game week as we scheme for the Bobcats."
Glenn said his first edition has its goals, and some of them are pretty lofty. "We would love for our seniors to win a bowl game, who doesn't want to win a bowl game. But sometimes you have to shoot for the moon. You won't get it if you don't. We are full of hopes and dreams, and that's what life is all about.
"My whole thing, though, is not to get hung up on a whole season. Our main focus must be to bring the best team we can to the field on August 30. That is the most important thing."
The Cowboys will practice once a day for the first five days, Wednesday through Sunday. Those sessions will each begin at 10 a.m. Media Day is set for Friday beginning at 12:30 p.m. Monday begins the first two-a-day session with practices set for 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. A single session will follow Tuesday at 9 a.m., with two-a-days on Wednesday (Aug. 13) and Friday (Aug. 15). Two scrimmages are schedule for Saturday, Aug. 16, and Saturday Aug. 23. The Cowboys will practice 29 times prior to the opener with Montana State.