Wyoming Cowboys Add Pads for Third Practice of Fall on Thursday
Aug. 8, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The third day of fall football practice on Thursday saw the Wyoming Cowboys don shoulder pads for the first time. With the addition of shoulder pads, the Cowboys also added their first contact of fall camp.
"I thought it was physical and there was some good hitting out there on both sides of the football," said Christensen. "Some big plays were made by both the offense and the defense today."
Among those players making big plays on Thursday was junior wide receiver Trey Norman.
"I noticed Trey (Norman) today," said Christensen. "He made a number of big plays out there, and is catching the ball well. He's got a lot of experience. He competed well today, and he's going to be getting more opportunities because of that.
"We've built some depth in the receiving positions -- really at a lot of positions. We haven't had a lot of depth in the past, and it creates great competition in practice."
One of the special teams' areas that has a number of talented individuals competing is the punt-returner position. The depth at that position could make the punt return team a big weapon for the Cowboys this season. Wide receivers Jalen Claiborne and Dominic Rufran and cornerbacks Blair Burns and Tyran Finley are all taking reps at punt returner.
"We have some experience coming back there," said Christensen. "Jalen (Claiborne) has returned punts. Blair (Burns) has returned punts, as has Dom (Rufran). Tyran (Finley) has looked good out there. We have some great competition there. We'll probably let them do some live punt returns during scrimmages and see who is the most explosive guy."
Christensen said that he and his staff focused Thursday's practice on improving execution of the plays already installed, rather than installing new plays.
"We didn't put in any new plays today," said Christensen. "We went back and tried to improve on what we've installed so far the first couple of days. We have enough offense in right now to play a football game, but we still want to do more things and we'll continue to add to our offensive package as we progress through fall camp."
The head coach was asked about the lack of injuries thus far in camp and what he attributes that to.
"I think a lot of it has to do with our guys coming into camp in great physical condition," said Christensen. "We're also trying to practice smart and keep guys on their feet. Hopefully, we can continue without injury."
Now that the newcomers have begun to settle into the pace of the Cowboys' practices, Christensen was asked if his staff is now able to get a more accurate picture of what newcomers may be able to contribute this year.
"We will get a better evaluation of our younger players after watching today's practice since we got some pads on today," said Christensen. "That is the real world. These next couple of days in pads through the first scrimmage on Sunday will be a critical evaluation period. It will help us put some guys in place who we think can help us this year."
Wyoming Media Day Set for Friday
Brett Smith and Other Mountain West Quarterbacks Being Recognized Nationally
New Addition to Wyoming Football Family
Upcoming Practice Schedule
Three fall scrimmages are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 11 at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 8:45 a.m. and are open to both the public and media. Media will be allowed to shoot photos and video of all of the three scrimmages from the sidelines.
2013 University of Wyoming Football Fall Practice Schedule