Wyoming's 2011 Football Recruiting Class Includes Some of the Highest Rated Individuals and Position Groups in School History Class features eight three-star ranked recruits and four position groups that rank either No. 1 or No. 2 in the MWC.
University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen announced his third recruiting class at Wyoming on Wednesday. The 2011 Wyoming football recruiting class is Christensen's best and one of the best in school history, including eight three-star ranked recruits and four position groups that rank either No. 1 or No. 2 in the Mountain West Conference according to Rivals.com. The 2011 class also includes two of the highest rated individuals in school history as rated by Rivals.com.
The top ranked position groups include: Wyoming's linebacker group that is ranked No. 1 in the MWC and No. 27 nationally by Rivals.com; the No. 2 ranked quarterback class in the MWC by Rivals, behind only TCU, and ranked No. 23 nationally by Rivals; the No. 2 ranked wide receiver group in the MWC, behind only TCU, and ranked No. 39 nationally by Rivals; and a place-kicking group that is tied for No. 1 in the MWC and tied for No. 10 nationally.
Wyoming's top rated individuals include quarterback Adam Pittser from Richmond, Ill., who is ranked as the No. 19 dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com and rated as the No. 25 overall quarterback in the nation by Scout.com. Wyoming recruit Eddie Yarbrough of Aurora, Colo., is ranked No. 31 in the nation at outside linebacker by Rivals, and is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 6 ranked overall recruit at all positions in the state of Colorado. Yarbrough is slated to play defensive end for Wyoming. Quarterback Brett Smith of Salem, Ore., was the 2010 Oregon Gatorade Football Player of the Year, and was named the First Team All-State Class 6A quarterback by The Oregonian -- 6A is the largest classification in Oregon.
"This class is one, in terms of the level of athlete who we were able to attract, that really excites me," said Christensen. "There were certain needs that we knew we needed to fill. Quarterback was one of those. Place-kicker was another. We feel like we've been able to attract young men who can step in right away and compete for starting spots at those positions.
"We're also excited about the balance, between offense and defense, that we were able to put together in this class.
"Offensively, we feel that we signed two extremely talented players at the quarterback position. Running back was an area where we wanted to sign one guy. Kody (Sutton) is a very high level player at running back. Had he been an inch or two taller, he probably would have been playing in the Big 12. We wanted to get some depth at wide receiver, and were able to sign five kids -- four of them out of the state of Texas and Dominic Rufran out of the state of Colorado. Offensive line was another area we wanted to add depth, and from a physical standpoint I feel very good about all four of the young men we've added there.
"On the defensive side of the ball, we didn't lose any defensive lineman from last year, but we were able to sign two defensive ends that will help make that position one of the deepest on our team. At linebacker, we've added three players there, one high school player, one junior college transfer and a young man from Germany who is a freshman but is 20 years old, so we have a good blend of experience in that group. And in the secondary, we made some great additions with a junior college player, another German player who is very mature and three high school players who will have a chance to come in and compete early in their careers."
Wyoming's 2011 class is a very balanced one, with 12 recruits on offense, 10 on defense and two special teams performers. The Cowboys signed players from eight different states and added two individuals from Germany. Freshmen Alex Borgs, a linebacker, and Mark Nzeocha, a safety, join senior linebacker and fellow German Oliver Schober on the Cowboy roster.
The state with the most recruits was Texas, with nine individuals. Five Coloradoans committed to the Cowboys. Wyoming added two student-athletes from the states of Illinois and Washington and one player each from the states of Arizona, Florida, Mississippi and Oregon.
The class of 24 individuals included 20 high school recruits and four junior college players.
Six members of the class are already enrolled at the University of Wyoming for the 2011 spring semester. The six are: freshman quarterback Smith, who graduated early from high school; Germans Borgs and Nzeocha; and three of the four junior college signees. Those three are: safety Luke Anderson, linebacker Korey Jones and defensive end Miraldo Michel. The fourth junior college signee, offensive lineman Zach Rushing, will join the Cowboys in the summer of 2011.
The national letter-of-intent signing period for football began on Wednesday, Feb. 2 and will conclude on Friday, April 1.
The individuals that make up this year's Wyoming recruiting class come to Wyoming with a number of impressive credentials including:
Quarterback Adam Pittser is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 19 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, and is ranked as the No. 13 overall recruit at all positions in the state of Illinois. Rivals also ranked Pittser No. 5 in the nation among high school quarterbacks for arm strength. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 25 best quarterback in the nation in the 2011 recruiting class. He is the first Wyoming recruit to be recognized as a National Underclassmen Combine All-American, having competed in the ESPN RISE Elite 11 QB camp in the summer of 2010 where he was runnerup for the camp's MVP award.
Quarterback Brett Smith was the 2010 Oregon Gatorade Football Player of the Year. He was also named the First Team All-State Class 6A quarterback by The Oregonian. Class 6A is the largest classification in the state of Oregon. SuperPrep magazine and Scout.com rank Smith as the No. 8 overall recruit at all positions in the state of Oregon. Smith graduated early from high school in December of 2010 and enrolled at UW in January of 2011. He will participate in spring practice.
Three Wyoming signees were named to the prestigious All-Colorado Team for all classifications by The Denver Post. Wide receiver Dominic Rufran, offensive lineman Austin Traphagan and defensive end Eddie Yarbrough all earned that honor. A fourth Colorado high school recruit, offensive lineman Jake Jones was named by The Denver Post to the Class 5A First Team All-State squad.
Eddie Yarbrough was ranked No. 31 in the nation at outside linebacker by Rivals.com. Rivals also rated Yarbrough as the No. 6 overall recruit at all positions in the state of Colorado. He is projected to play defensive end for the Cowboys.
Adam Pittser and Eddie Yarbrough are the highest ranked recruits by Rivals.com that Wyoming has ever signed (Pittser the No. 19 ranked dual-threat QB and Yarbrough the No. 31 ranked outside linebacker).
Wyoming signed nine student-athletes from the talent-rich state of Texas. Among those nine signees are: wide receiver Josh Doctson, who is the highest ranked receiver by Rivals.com to ever sign with Wyoming (rating of 5.5 out of a possible 6.1); safety Chad Reese, who was named Honorable Mention All-State Class 5A by the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors; wide receiver Kevin Robertson, who was named a private school DII First Team All-State selection and was named to the Houston Top 100 by the Houston Chronicle; and running back Kody Sutton, who was named Honorable Mention All-State Class 4A by the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors.
Among Wyoming's junior college recruits is junior linebacker Korey Jones from Garden City Community College in Kansas where he ranked No. 10 in the nation in tackles with 108 last season. Jones is originally from Fort Collins, Colo., where he played at Rocky Mountain High School for former Wyoming Cowboy Mark Brook. Jones enrolled at UW in January of 2011 and will participate in spring football practice.
Wyoming's other three junior college signees all played on nationally-ranked teams last season. Safety Luke Anderson played for No. 10 ranked Blinn College in Texas. Defensive end Miraldo Michel played for No. 14 ranked Ellsworth Community College in Iowa and offensive lineman Zach Rushing played for No. 3 ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi. Anderson and Michel enrolled at UW in January of 2011.
Freshmen and native Germans Alex Borgs and Mark Nzeocha join senior Oliver Schober as Wyoming Cowboys. Both enrolled at UW in January of 2011 and will participate in spring practice.
Long snapper Zach Ewan is the first Wyoming recruit to play in the Under Armour All-America Football game. He participated in the game on Jan. 5, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Ewan was also named a First Team Class 5A All-State performer as a long snapper by the Arizona Republic.
Offensive lineman Rafe Kiely was named to the Illinois Second Team All-State Team for all classes by the Chicago Tribune.
Place-kicker Daniel Sullivan was named by the Associated Press as the First Team All-State place-kicker in Class 4A in Washington, Class 4A is the largest classification in the state of Washington.
In terms of position ratings by Rivals.com, Wyoming had: the No. 1 ranked linebacker class in the Mountain West and the No. 27 ranked group nationally; the No. 2 ranked quarterback class in the Mountain West, behind only TCU, and the No. 23 ranked group nationally; the No. 2 ranked wide receiver group in the MWC, behind only TCU, and No. 39 nationally; and tied for the No. 1 place-kicking class in the MWC and tied for No. 10 nationally.
Wyoming signed eight (8) three-star recruits, as ranked by Rivals.com.
University of Wyoming Cowboys 2011 Football Signings (Alphabetical, As of Feb. 2, 2011)