First Time Since 1997 Draft That UW Has Multiple Players Selected
UW This Season: John Wendling will enter his senior season as a leading All-America candidate in 2006. A three-year starter at safety for the Cowboys, he has added 13 pounds to his frame from a year ago, while maintaining his speed and explosiveness -- he ran a 4.38 40-yard time during winter conditioning and posted a vertical jump of 40.9 inches. During 2006 spring practice, Wendling trained at the strong-safety position, in addition to his familiar free-safety spot. He could be utilized at either position his senior year. Prior to the 2005 season, he was ranked by Phil Steele's College Football Preview as the No. 16 best free safety in the nation.
2005: Wendling had a strong junior season in 2005, ranking second on the Cowboy squad in tackles with 75. That also ranked him No. 16 in the Mountain West Conference. He led UW in interceptions, with three, tying him for eighth in the MWC and 68th in the NCAA. He forced two fumbles in conference play, tying him for No. 3 in the conference. Wendling was named MWC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in a 29-28 win over Air Force. He had 13 total tackles against the Falcons and made a game-ending interception to help seal the win for Wyoming. His other top performances came against New Mexico (13 tackles) and versus Utah (10 tackles and one PBU). Wendling earned Honorable Mention All-MWC honors for the second consecutive season, and was named to the Academic All-Conference team for the third time. The Rock Springs, Wyo., native also achieved Second Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VII accolades from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
2004: Wendling not only led the Pokes in tackles as a sophomore with 89, but he had three pass interceptions and three fumble recoveries. He ranked fifth in the MWC in fumbles recovered, was ninth in interceptions and 15th in tackles. Wendling registered double figures in tackles in three different games. He had 16 tackles versus Ole Miss, 11 at BYU and 11 versus Air Force. After making 11 tackles and breaking up two passes in a 43-26 victory over Air Force, Wendling was named the MWC Defensive Player of the Week. His first interception of the season was crucial as he picked off Ole Miss in the end zone to stop the Rebels first drive of the game. His second interception came against CSU, and his third interception also came on an opponent's first drive of the game vs. UNLV. The interception against UNLV led to a Wyoming field goal, giving the Cowboys a 3-0 lead on way to a 53-45 triple overtime victory. He had six tackles in the Las Vegas Bowl win versus UCLA. Wendling achieved Honorable Mention All-Conference honors for the first time in his career. He was named to the Academic All-Conference team for the second time.
2003: Wendling played a key role at free safety and as a special-teams player in his redshirt freshman season. He started his first game as a Cowboy versus New Mexico, in the second to last game of the 2003 season. As a special teams player, he blocked two kicks -- both extra point attempts at Air Force and at San Diego State. In addition to his two blocked extra points, he also recovered one fumble and broke up one pass. Wendling earned Academic All-Mountain West Conference honors for the first time. He also earned his first varsity letter.
High School: John Wendling led his Rock Springs High School team to a perfect 11-0 record and the Wyoming Class 5A State Championship as a senior. He was named All-State as a senior at three different positions--running back, defensive back and return specialist. He also earned Super 25 honors from the Casper-Star Tribune. As a junior, he was selected as an All-State defensive back. He rushed for 1,147 yards as a running back and accounted for 1,875 yards of all-purpose yards his senior season. He scored 17 touchdowns and averaged 9.6 yards every time he touched the ball. During his junior and senior seasons combined, he accounted for over 3,000 yards of all-purpose yardage and scored 30 touchdowns. Wendling also excelled in track and field, winning the State Championship in the long jump as a junior and finishing as the runner-up in the triple jump. An outstanding student, he was a member of the National Honor Society and was active in the student council. He achieved the 4.00 Honor Roll his sophomore, junior and senior years of high school. He was coached in high school by Jamie Christensen. Wendling was also recruited by Brigham Young, Colorado State, Harvard, Princeton and Stanford.
Personal: Born June 4, 1983, in Cody, Wyo., he is the eldest of two children of Carol and Randal Wendling. He is studying business administration.