Wyoming Cowboys Add Pads for Third Practice of Fall on Thursday

Aug. 8, 2013


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The third day of fall football practice on Thursday saw the Wyoming Cowboys don shoulder pads for the first time. With the addition of shoulder pads, the Cowboys also added their first contact of fall camp.

"I thought it was physical and there was some good hitting out there on both sides of the football," said Christensen. "Some big plays were made by both the offense and the defense today."

Among those players making big plays on Thursday was junior wide receiver Trey Norman.

"I noticed Trey (Norman) today," said Christensen. "He made a number of big plays out there, and is catching the ball well. He's got a lot of experience. He competed well today, and he's going to be getting more opportunities because of that.

"We've built some depth in the receiving positions -- really at a lot of positions. We haven't had a lot of depth in the past, and it creates great competition in practice."

One of the special teams' areas that has a number of talented individuals competing is the punt-returner position. The depth at that position could make the punt return team a big weapon for the Cowboys this season. Wide receivers Jalen Claiborne and Dominic Rufran and cornerbacks Blair Burns and Tyran Finley are all taking reps at punt returner.

"We have some experience coming back there," said Christensen. "Jalen (Claiborne) has returned punts. Blair (Burns) has returned punts, as has Dom (Rufran). Tyran (Finley) has looked good out there. We have some great competition there. We'll probably let them do some live punt returns during scrimmages and see who is the most explosive guy."

Christensen said that he and his staff focused Thursday's practice on improving execution of the plays already installed, rather than installing new plays.

"We didn't put in any new plays today," said Christensen. "We went back and tried to improve on what we've installed so far the first couple of days. We have enough offense in right now to play a football game, but we still want to do more things and we'll continue to add to our offensive package as we progress through fall camp."

The head coach was asked about the lack of injuries thus far in camp and what he attributes that to.

"I think a lot of it has to do with our guys coming into camp in great physical condition," said Christensen. "We're also trying to practice smart and keep guys on their feet. Hopefully, we can continue without injury."

Now that the newcomers have begun to settle into the pace of the Cowboys' practices, Christensen was asked if his staff is now able to get a more accurate picture of what newcomers may be able to contribute this year.

"We will get a better evaluation of our younger players after watching today's practice since we got some pads on today," said Christensen. "That is the real world. These next couple of days in pads through the first scrimmage on Sunday will be a critical evaluation period. It will help us put some guys in place who we think can help us this year."

Wyoming Media Day Set for Friday
Fall Sport Media Day will be Friday at the University of Wyoming. The annual event allows media to come to campus and conduct interviews with student-athletes and coaches. Friday's media day will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Wildcatter Stadium Club and Suites with interviews of UW cross country, soccer and volleyball student-athletes and coaches. Lunch will follow for media and coaches at Noon in the Wildcatter. At 1 p.m., the Cowboy football team and coaching staff will be on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium for media interviews and photographs.

Brett Smith and Other Mountain West Quarterbacks Being Recognized Nationally
Cowboy fans may be interested in a story posted today on ESPN.com, highlighting the outstanding quarterbacks in the Mountain West Conference this season. Included in the group is Wyoming junior> Brett Smith. The ESPN story compares the group of MW QBs against those of the SEC. Click here to read the story.

New Addition to Wyoming Football Family
Congratulations to Wyoming wide receivers coach Derek Sage and his wife Mandy, who welcomed their new baby son (name to be announced) to the world on Wednesday. It is the second child for the Sages, as they have a young daughter, Piper.

Upcoming Practice Schedule
This fall's Cowboy Football practices are open to media and the public. Photos and video are allowed for the first 30 minutes of each practice.

Three fall scrimmages are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 11 at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 8:45 a.m. and are open to both the public and media. Media will be allowed to shoot photos and video of all of the three scrimmages from the sidelines.

2013 University of Wyoming Football Fall Practice Schedule
Tuesday, Aug. 6: 8:45 a.m. (Non-contact, Practice #1)
Wednesday, Aug. 7: 8:45 a.m. (Non-contact, Practice #2)
Thursday, Aug. 8: 8:45 a.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #3)
Friday, Aug. 9: 8:45 a.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #4), 1:00 p.m. (Media Day)
Saturday, Aug. 10: 8:45 a.m. (Full Pads, Practice #5)
Sunday, Aug. 11: 10:00 a.m. (Scrimmage #1, Practice #6)
Monday, Aug. 12: 8:45 a.m. (Full Pads, Practice #7), 3:45 p.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #8)
Tuesday, Aug. 13: No Practice
Wednesday, Aug. 14: 8:45 a.m. (Full Pads, Practice #9), 3:45 p.m. (Shells, Practice #10)
Thursday, Aug. 15: 8:45 a.m. (Full Pads, Practice #11)
Friday, Aug. 16: 8:45 a.m. (Shells, Practice #12), 3:45 p.m. (Shells, Practice #13)
Saturday, Aug. 17: 10:00 a.m. (Scrimmage #2, Practice #14)
Sunday, Aug. 18: No Practice
Monday, Aug. 19: 8:45 a.m. (Full Pads, Practice #15), 3:45 p.m. (Shells, Practice #16)
Tuesday, Aug. 20: 8:45 a.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #17)
Wednesday, Aug. 21: 8:45 a.m. (Scrimmage #3, Practice #18)
Thursday, Aug. 22: No Practice
Friday, Aug. 23: Begin Regular-Season Practice Schedule
Monday, Aug. 26: First Day of School, 3:00 p.m. (First Monday Press Conference of Season)