Aug. 6, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
With the strains of "Cowboy Joe" blaring in the background, Joe Glenn opened his first fall camp as Wyoming's head coach Wednesday, with an enthusiastic two-hour practice at the north fields.
Glenn had his four-wheel-drive vehicle driven next to the practice fields, and as the Cowboys left the field, turned up the volume on the school fight song.
On a perfect Wyoming morning, the Cowboys' practice put a smile on their new coach's face.
"We're all excited to be going, players and coaches alike," Glenn said. "It's a new beginning, and it's a great feeling. I think everyone has picked up right where we left off after spring training. We're excited to have the opportunity to get with our kids, roll up our sleeves and get after it."
The practice session, the first of 29 the Cowboys will have prior to the Aug. 30, opener with Montana State, included seven-on-seven, nine on seven, team work and individual drills. Some 100 players practice on the first day.
"Everyone came back in good shape," said junior linebacker Guy Tuell (Yuma, Colo.). "We've all been here this summer. Everybody put in the time, and we are ready to go. Defense-wise we know we have to step it up. I believe we all felt the urgency today. We have taken the challenge and we are ready for it."
Sophomore offensive tackle Dan Fisher (Gering, Neb.) seemed to echo the feeling of the team following the workout. "This was fun out here today. I can't wait for the season, it's going to be a new experience."
An illustration of the "fun" Glenn is bringing to the program came after Wednesday's practice. Rather than the squad running following the workout, as is traditional, Glenn offered a challenge. If three defensive linemen could all run a "fly" pattern, and catch a long pass from the quarterbacks, the team wouldn't have to run.
Senior end Brandon Casavan (Grand Forks, ND), junior nose guard Zach Morris (Denver, Colo.) and junior end Anthony Jones (Lithonia, Ga.) were selected as receivers. All three caught the ball successfully to the cheers of the entire squad.
"Everyone showed up, and appears to be in good shape," Glenn said following the practice. "These guys have worked hard, and they deserve to have success. "I'm especially pleased with the seniors. We are leaning on those guys. They are very, very involved. They have been through a lot, and they deserve more. We want them to go out with a great feeling."
Everyone seemed to be happy with the new NCAA ruling that limits two-a-day practice sessions. The Cowboys will have five days of single practices before they experience their first two-a-day situation next Monday (Aug. 11).
"I think it is good for the game," Glenn said. "Two-a-days, day-after-day, can be too much. We still get 29 practices. This plan gives the kids much more chance to rebound, mentally and physically."
So much of Wyoming's success will depend on the veteran arm of senior quarterback Casey Bramlet (Wheatland, Wyo.). He was pleased with the first day. "It feels good. Everyone has new life, and new excitement. I thought we got a lot done for the first day. People picked up things pretty quickly from where we left off last spring."
Glenn said he was pleased with what he saw of the "rookies" during their first day. He singled out a couple of defensive backs. "Two of our new corners made super plays," Glenn said. (Terrell) Vinson (Irvine, Calif.) made an outstanding interception as did Derrick Martin (Westminster, Colo.). Both of those freshmen are real fine athletes. I couldn't say at this point how big of a role they will be playing this season, but I can tell you they will be playing a lot of football in Wyoming's secondary."
The Cowboys will continue with their one-a-day sessions Thursday, starting at 10:15 a.m. They will have single practice days through Sunday.