Countdown To Kickoff: Meet Your 2019 Cowboy Football Team


Laramie, WY (8/29/19) – The Wyoming Cowboys finished 2018 strong with convincing road wins over Colorado State (34-21) and New Mexico (31-3), a home win over San Jose State (24-9) and a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Air Force (35-27).

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Wyoming hopes last year’s end of season success carries over to their Saturday home matchup against the Missouri Tigers. The Wyoming/Missouri game will be heard on WyoRadio’s 99.7 JACK-FM beginning at 4:30 p.m. with kickoff at 5:30 p.m. The game will also be streamed at

Leading the Cowboys in 2019 will be a group of 12 seniors with starting experience — six on defense, four on offense and two on special teams.

Among that group are preseason All-America candidates Cooper Rothe, at place-kicker, and Logan Wilson, at middle linebacker.  Wilson has been named to both the 2019 Chuck Bednarik Award Preseason Watch List and Butkus Award Watch List.  The Bednarik Award is presented annually to the College Defensive Player of the Year.  The Butkus Award goes to the nation’s best linebacker.  Rothe has been named to the 2019 Groza Award Watch List and multiple Preseason All-America teams, including being named a Second Team Preseason All-American by the Sporting News.  Rothe is also the returning Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Year and is the preseason pick by conference media members to win that award again in 2019.

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Joining Wilson as returning senior starters on defense are cornerbacks Tyler Hall and Antonio Hull, strong safety Alijah Halliburton, weak-side linebacker Cassh Maluia and defensive end Josiah Hall.

Offensively, three senior receivers with starting experience return in Austin Conway, Raghib Ismailand John Okwoli.  They are joined by redshirt senior tight end Josh Harshman. On special teams in addition to Rothe, his holder, senior Nick Szpor returns to start for his fourth consecutive season.

A number of underclassmen also return after playing critical roles for the Pokes a year ago.  Quarterbacks Sean Chambers and Tyler Vander Waal both return after sharing the starting duties last season.  Chambers came out of 2019 Spring Practice as the projected starter.

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Running back Xazavian Valladay returns for his sophomore season. Valladay had the best game of his college career in the season finale at New Mexico rushing for 192 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.

Other key offensive returners who are underclassmen include sophomore center Keegan Cryder, who earned First Team Freshman All-America honors in 2018 from the Football Writers Association of America. Tackles Rudy Stofer and Alonzo Velazquez started seven and five games, respectively. Velazquez’s 2018 season was cut short due to injury.  Junior Logan Harris is the projected starter at right guard and has 13 career starts to his credit, while sophomores Eric Abojei (five starts in 2018) and Patrick Arnold (four starts) are the projected co-starters at left guard after Fall Camp.

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The key underclassmen on defense returning starts with junior defensive end Garrett Crall.  Crall had 38 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in his first season as a starter in 2018.  Junior nose tackle Javaree Jackson also has two starts and has played in 19 career games over his first two seasons.

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