Sept. 11, 2001
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
A year ago at this time, Scottie Vines arrived on the Universityof Wyoming campus, ready and eager to play basketball for the Cowboys.
Today he is still ready and eager, but not to make baskets and pull downrebounds. Now he wants to catch footballs and score touchdowns.
Vines is a junior wide receiver for the Pokes this season after playing oneyear of basketball during the 2000-01 season. Vines didn't play much forcoach Steve McClain last season after coming from Eastern Utah CommunityCollege, and saw an opportunity to play football for coach Vic Koenning.And it's not like Vines didn't have a background in football. Florida Staterecruited him as a receiver out of high school in Alexander City, Ala.Although he didn't play both sports simultaneously at UW, Vines has stillhad to make the transition from one sport to the other.
"Football running is a lot different than basketball running," Vines said."There's more cutting and things like that in football. I made a lot of thetransition in the spring, but most of it came during fall camp."
During spring drills, Vines was still recovering from a wrist injury hesuffered during basketball, and didn't go through any contact drills. Earlyin fall camp, a sore Achilles tendon slowed him down some, but after herecovered from that, Vines began to blossom.
"When he came back (from the injury) he grew leaps and bounds," UW receiverscoach Rob Phenicie said.
At 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Vines has all the intangibles you want in areceiver. He has good speed, good size and great leaping ability. He was aseven-foot-high jumper in high school.
"You can see that he's got that extra speed," UW sophomore quarterback CaseyBramlet said. "And when you throw up the deep ball, he can go up and get it."
Vines made quite an impression on the coaching staff and UW fans in lastThursday's 28-20 loss to Texas A&M. He caught three passes for 66 yards.Vines hauled in a 19-yard reception on UW's first offensive play of thegame, and later caught a 42-yarder that set up a UW field goal.Vines also returns kickoffs, and brought back two kicks for 41 yards,including a long of 26 that he was one tackle away from breaking for atouchdown.
Phenicie said he expects Vines to get better as he spends more time on thefield. It's just a matter of time before Vines makes his mark on thefootball field, he said.
"He just needs reps, in practice and in games," Phenicie said. "We haveplans for Scottie. He's in the mix."