Brothers in the Pocket

Aug. 29, 2001

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

As little kids growing up in Wheatland,brothers Casey and Corey Bramlet staged video gamebattles that became pretty heated.

"If he would beat me, the war was on," older brotherCasey said.

On the football field, the competition is friendly.

Six days before the season-opener with Furman (2 p.m.kickoff at War Memorial Stadium), Casey, a sophomore,is penciled in as the starting quarterback for theUniversity of Wyoming.

Corey, a true freshman, is the leading candidate to behis brother's backup.

Casey entered this season as the favorite to be UW'sstarter. He played in five games last season andshowed flashes of brilliance and promise. A solidspring made Casey the man to beat for the startingjob.

A recurring shoulder injury to senior Matt Swanson,plus a solid fall camp, ensured Casey would be thePokes' starter.

While his older brother was establishing himself asthe No. 1 quarterback, Corey was quickly moving hisway up the UW depth chart.

It was no surprise that Casey would start the season,but it is a bit of a shock that Corey's progress hasgone so well, so fast.

"I didn't expect it," said Corey on being UW's backup.

"I knew there were people ahead of me who earned theirspots. The only way I thought I would get a spot wasif there was an injury. I would have never thoughtanything like this.

"But that's why I worked hard all summer, for asituation like this."

The younger Bramlet's summer work included spending alot of time in Laramie with his brother.

"That was probably the one thing that helped me outthe most," Corey said. "I was able to get into theplay book, get my timing down and was able to throw tothe guys all the time every day."

Added Casey: "When he came into fall camp, he alreadykind of knew the offense, his protections and wasahead of everybody else. Also, getting to know histeammates and getting to know how everybody is witheach other helped him out a lot."

UW coach Vic Koenning said another factor in Corey'srapid development was his presence at the Cowboys'football camp between his junior and senior years ofhigh school.

"He was able to see some of the fundamental things,and he took that and learned from it," Koenning said."He's doing the things he was coached back in our campnow that he learned a year and a half ago."

Having his younger brother around also helped Casey.

UW offensive coordinator Rusty Burns said Casey spentmore time studying the offense with his brother, whichhelped him better grasp the offense. Burns also saidCasey matured a lot over the summer helping Coreyadjust to college life.

Casey and Corey are separated by two years. When Caseywas a senior at Wheatland High, Corey was Casey'sbackup and also quarterbacked the junior varsitysquad. Aside from the video games battles, both saidthe competition among each other in sports growing upwas minimal.

That has carried over college.

But there could come a day when the two brothers arecompeting against each other for UW's startingquarterback job.

"It doesn't seem like there's a lot of competitionbetween us right now, but there might be later on,"Casey said. "I think we're close enough to where Iwould be happy for Corey and he would be happy for me.It's not like we're enemies or anything like that."

Koenning would prefer to redshirt Corey this season,let him get a year under his belt in the program andallow some separation in years between the twobrothers to widen. But Koenning said he also knowsit's tough to have a starting quarterback go theentire season without some sort of injury.

Last season, UW's top two quarterbacks - Jay Stonerand Swanson - missed time due to injury.

Theoretically, Corey could be one injury to hisbrother away from being the Pokes' startingquarterback.

"I've thought about that, and I've tried to be morefocused in practice and meetings," Corey said. "I'vethought about it, but I don't like to think about itbecause it makes me kind of nervous."

One thing is certain, though: both Bramlets will beexcited for Saturday's season-opener.

"I can't wait until Saturday," Casey said. "It's beena long wait. I think our emotions will be high. Wehave to control them, though."

Added Corey: "I will be really excited. It will all benew, and I'm sure I'll be nervous. I just have torelax and try to be calm."