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Dave Christensen's First Recruiting Class at Wyoming Features Exciting Blend of Speed and Athleticism

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen is pictured during Wednesday's press conference.

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen is pictured during Wednesday's press conference.

Feb. 4, 2009

LARAMIE, Wyo. -


  • WYOMING SIGNING DAY CENTRAL
  • Watch Archived Video Coverage of the Signing Day Press Conference
  • Watch Video Highlights of the 2009 Signees
  • Signee Bios
  • Coach Christensen's National Signing Day Press Conference Call Audio
  • Complete Release/Bios/Roster in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

    - WATCH VIDEO highlight clips from Wyoming's incoming class!
    Alvester Alexander, Robert Benjamin, Kenny Browder, Spencer Bruce, Austyn Carta-Samuels, Scott Criss, Shamiel Gary, Devyn Harris, Rodney Jaynes, Todd Knight, Trendt Marsom, Chris McNeill, Larry Mitchell, Alo Moli, Ghaali Muhammad, Mike Purcell, Jeff Roueche, Luke Ruff, T.J. Smith, David Tooley, Thomas Vonashek, Mark Willis

    University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen announced his first recruiting class at Wyoming on Wednesday. The 2009 Wyoming recruiting class is one that features an exciting blend of speed and athleticism.

    "We put a lot of emphasis on adding athleticism and speed in this recruiting class, and I feel that we were able to meet those goals," said Christensen. "In the relatively short amount of time that we had to put this class together, I believe my staff did an excellent job of getting out, finding talent and evaluating players that will fit into our system.

    "Our coaches really did a great job of developing relationships with these young men and getting them excited about the vision we have for this program and what we want to accomplish here at Wyoming."

    Christensen's first Wyoming class includes student-athletes from 13 different states. The class is a very balanced one with 12 offensive players and 12 defensive players signing national letters of intent. Of the 24 signees, 17 are skill-position players and seven are linemen. There are 23 high school signees and one junior college recruit in the class.

    "I feel that we were able to fill needs at every position across the board," said Christensen. "We were able to find two excellent quarterbacks who fit our system. We are excited about the speed we were able to add to our football team. I particularly like the size and speed of the young players we added on the defensive line."

    The individuals that make up this year's Wyoming recruiting class come to Wyoming with exciting credentials including:

  • A pair of quarterbacks in junior college transfer Robert Benjamin from Phoenix, Ariz., and high school quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels from San Jose, Calif., who combined were ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 15 best quarterback recruiting class in the nation. Benjamin was the NJCAA Region I Offensive Player of the Year, while Carta-Samuels was ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 22 best dual-threat quarterback in the nation.
  • Three of the 11 members of the 2008 Denver Post All-Colorado Defensive team signed with the Cowboys. Linebacker Todd Knight of Grandview, linebacker Devyn Harris of Fountain-Fort Carson and defensive back Luke Ruff of Douglas County all became Cowboys on Wednesday.
  • Two of the Top 25 recruits from the state of Colorado as ranked by Rivals.com were signed by the Cowboys. Knight of Grandview was ranked as the No. 12 top recruit in the state of Colorado, and defensive linemen Mike Purcell from Highlands Ranch High School was ranked as the No. 17 recruit in Colorado.
  • Two high school teammates, defensive back Shamiel Gary and tight end T.J. Smith from the Oklahoma 5A State Championship team -- Booker T. Washington High School out of Tulsa, Okla. -- also committed to the Cowboys.
  • And the Pokes signed the top recruit in the state of Wyoming in defensive lineman Spencer Bruce of Campbell County High School in Gillette, Wyo. Bruce was a Casper Star-Tribune Super 25 selection and led Campbell County to the 2008 Wyoming 5A State Championship.

    "We are obviously excited to get Spener Bruce of Gillette," said Christensen. "He had originally given a verbal commitment to Southern Miss. We were able to get him down here for a visit, meet our staff and communicate to him the high level of interest we had in him. We really like his athleticism, and we feel that he will be able to grow physically into a young man who can successfully play defensive line at this level.

    "We're also excited to have several walkons from Wyoming that will be joining our program next fall. We always want to get the best players from the state of Wyoming that can help us compete for a Mountain West Conference Championship.

    "We plan to build our recruiting base around Wyoming and Colorado, but we're going to try and expand our base and find the best players we can to help us be successful. Reaching into 13 states this year, I think we were able to find a number of outstanding athletes to satisfy several needs we had."

    Wyoming signed five players from the state of Colorado, three each from Texas and Illinois and two from the states of California, Missouri and Oklahoma in the 2009 signing class.

    The national letter-of-intent signing period began Wednesday, Feb. 4 and ends April 1, 2009.

    University of Wyoming Cowboys 2009 Football Signings
    (Alphabetical, As of Feb. 4, 2009)

    Breakdown:
    High-School Signees (21)
    Junior-College Signee Who Will Enroll at UW in the Fall of 2009 (1)
    Grayshirt Signees From 2008 (2)
    Totals (24)

    High-School Signees (21)

    Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Last School)
    Alvester Alexander RB 5-11 200 Fr. Houston, Texas (C.E. King)
    Kenny Browder DB 5-11 175 Fr. Round Rock, Texas (Stony Point)
    Spencer Bruce DL 6-5 215 Fr. Gillette, Wyo. (Campbell County)
    Austyn Carta-Samuels QB 6-2 210 Fr. San Jose, Calif. (Bellarmine College Prep)
    Scott Criss OL 6-5 250 Fr. Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Prep)
    Shamiel Gary DB 6-1 210 Fr. Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington)
    Devyn Harris LB 6-3 200 Fr. Fountain, Colo. (Fountain-Fort Carson)
    Rodney Jaynes WR 6-4 205 Fr. Chicago, Ill. (Hales Franciscan)
    Todd Knight LB 6-2 200 Fr. Aurora, Colo. (Grandview)
    Trendt Marsom DB 6-0 195 Fr. Honolulu, Hawaii (Kaimuki)
    Chris McNeill WR 6-1 170 Fr. Simi Valley, Calif. (Notre Dame)
    Larry Mitchell DB 6-3 185 Fr. Fort Worth, Texas (North Crowley)
    Alo Moli WR 6-3 180 Fr. West Valley, Utah (Cottonwood)
    Ghaali Muhammad DB 6-0 200 Fr. St. Joseph, Mo. (Central)
    Mike Purcell DL 6-3 260 Fr. Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Highlands Ranch)
    Jeff Roueche LB 6-3 205 Fr. Niwot, Colo. (Niwot)
    Luke Ruff DB 5-11 190 Fr. Castle Rock, Colo. (Douglas County)
    T.J. Smith TE 6-3 215 Fr. Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington)
    David Tooley TE 6-5 210 Fr. Moberly, Mo. (Moberly)
    Thomas Vonashek OL 6-9 280 Fr. St. Simons Island, Ga. (Glynn Academy)
    Mark Willis DL 6-4 230 Fr. Oak Park, Ill. (Oak Park & River Forest)

    Junior-College Signee (Will Enroll at UW Fall of 2009) (1)

    Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Last School)
    Robert Benjamin QB 6-2 205 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz. (Phoenix CC, Ariz.)

    Grayshirt Signees From Feb. 2008 (Enrolled at UW Spring 2009) (2)

    Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Last School)
    Nick Carlson# OL 6-4 235 Fr. Arlington Heights, Ill. (Prospect)
    Josh Leonard# OL 6-4 250 Fr. Helena, Mont. (Helena)


    # Grayshirts who went on scholarship in January of 2009. These grayshirts were originally signed in February of 2008, but count toward the 2009 recruiting class total.

     

     

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