Cowboy Rookies Close Out Orientation

Aug. 8, 2000

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

According to Head Coach VicKoenning his Wyoming football rookies are quick learners.

Wyoming's 31 "new" Cowboys completed their two-day orientation onTuesday and will now wait to join the veterans Thursday for the first day ofpractice by the full squad. The team will actually be together for thefirst time Wednesday for Media Day, and will begin two-a-days in ernest thefollowing day.

"We use the 'whole-part-whole' philosophy of teaching," Koenningsaid between practices on Tuesday. "We have exposed them to as much aspossible, now we will go back and work on the parts.

"My observation thus far has been that every guy in camp is as goodor better than we expected. We are throwing a lot of things at them early,but they all seem to be absorbing the information in good shape."

Koenning said that the challenge has been to keep them focused onfundamentals, and improving with each practice. Most of them have a lot ontheir minds especially dealing with the new environment. They're tired,they're sore, and they are in a totally different situation. We just wantto make sure they continue to improve. As we stressed during springtraining, we don't want any backward steps.

"I think they have come a long way in just a couple of practicesessions," Koenning continued. "But they have a long way still to go.We're getting there with them.

Koenning has been especially pleased with the play of the secondary,an area loaded with junioir college transfers. "I have watched fourpractices and I believe our secondary that we have had together right nowis better than the one we had last season." That group includes DaShawnAbram, Eric Lee and Gideon Smith.

"They came a long way from day one-to-day two. They must continuethat kind of play, that kind of improvement. We are seeing a lot of hardwork, a lot of dedication and a lot of willingness to learn," Koenning said.

The head coach also liked a couple of his running backs as well as anumber of linemen on both sides of the ball. Freshmen ER Wolf, TrentonFranz, Kyle Huseby, and Tim Riley and jaycee and Damon Roark have beenimpressive." Yet another junior college transfer Daniel Gibson III issidelined with a broken foot. It is unknown how he long he will be out. Itappears to me that at least seven or eight of the junior college transfers,and possibly two freshmen, will be able to contribute in a positive way forthe Cowboys,"Koenning said.

Following media day on Wednesday morning the newcomers willconcentrate on academics, the filling out of forms, finishing up testing andgoing through the policy and proceedures meeting."

Koenning announced Tuesday that a pair of Cowboys are ending theirfootball careers due to injury although they will remain in school. He saidthat sophomore Louis Horton, a defensive end from Evanston, and offensiveguard Brian Johnson, a junior from Thermopolis, have been excused from theteam for medical reasons. Horton has been hampered by a back injury, andJohnson by a knee injury.

The Cowboys will open pre-season camp on Thursday with a pair oftwo-hour practices. . .9:30 to 11:30 and 5:30 to 7:30. They will work outeach day through Aug. 22. The Univesity begins classes on Aug. 28, and theCowboys begin their regular one-per-day routine on Wednesday, Aug. 23. Theywill depart for Auburn on Wednesday, Aug. 30. The Auburn game, which willbe an ESPN Thursday Night game, will kickoff at 6 p.m. MDT.