Competition at strong safety spot heating up
LARAMIE -- You've probably heard there's a quarterback competition this fall.
Despite earning the title All-American in 2020, even placekicker John Hoyland has found himself in a battle for the starting job with Luke Glassock.
Who will be the Cowboys punter? That's still up in the air, too.
One spot has already been determined. Easton Gibbs is Wyoming's new No. 1 outside linebacker. Incumbent Charles Hicks hit the NCAA Transfer Portal Monday afternoon and Thursday committed to suit up for the Missouri Tigers in 2022.
We still don't know who will return kicks for the Cowboys either. Head coach Craig Bohl has been tight lipped about that throughout the month of August.
Monday, he said, the first depth chart of the 2021 season will be released. The questions above will all be answered -- at least for the Sept. 4 season opener when Montana State and old friend Brent Vigen pay a visit to War Memorial Stadium.
There is one race Bohl did discuss this week. That's at the strong safety spot where Braden Smith and Rome Weber have been duking it out since the spring.
Smith, a 5-foot-10, 191-pound super senior from Lakewood, Colo., is currently atop the depth chart, but Bohl said Thursday Weber is hot on his heels.
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"Rome Weber has got his legs back underneath him," Bohl said. "Both of those two guys you'll see playing in the game."
That wasn't always the case.
Weber, who started 12 of 13 games in 2019, tallying 38 tackles and an interception as a redshirt freshman, opted out last season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Bohl said in May that spot was indeed a battle -- one Smith was running away with.
Smith did play last fall, starting all six games for the Cowboys.
He registered 23 tackles, a sack and an interception out of the Wyoming secondary. In 2019, sharing time with Esaias Gandy, Alijah Halliburton and Weber, Smith appeared in all 13 games, including an Arizona Bowl victory over Georgia State. He finished with 11 tackles and picked off a pass in Week 2 at Texas State.
"It's gone really well," Bohl said of Smith's production this fall. "He had a good practice today and he's playing the deep ball well. He's a sixth-year guy so he's played a lot of football for us."
The Cowboys, Bohl said, are in full prep mode for the Bobcats. He joked that he could tell us more about his opening day roster, but it will have to wait.
Is it Monday yet?