LARAMIE – As the Wyoming Cowboys approach the halfway point of 2017 spring practice, one of the areas that has contributed to the continuing development of Cowboy Football is the work done by the UW strength and conditioning staff.
The strength and conditioning staff has worked with the Cowboys both to teach them how to add quality weight by eating a more healthy diet and by providing student-athletes with improved nutrition options through UW Athletics’ enhanced nutritional program.
A total of 30 players on the current Cowboy roster have added five or more pounds above their weights listed on last season’s team roster. Among the individuals who have gained the most weight are: running back Kellen Overstreet, up 20 pounds to 216; wide receiver Parker Dumas, up 16 pounds to 216; safety Josh Boyd, up 15 pounds to 190; defensive end Garrett Crall, up 14 pounds to 235; tight end Austin Fort (244), linebacker Jahmari Moore (232), cornerback Braden Smith (190) and offensive guard Cole Turner (293), all up 13 pounds each; quarterback Josh Allen, up 11 pounds to 233; safety Alijah Halliburton (190) and defensive end Shiloh Windsor (234), each up 10 pounds; tight end Josh Harshman, up nine pounds to 235; defensive tackle Brent Gilliland (282), wide receiver C.J. Johnson (204) and defensive end Kevin Prosser (223), each up eight pounds; and linebacker Cassh Maluia, up seven pounds to 230.
Head coach Craig Bohl is very encouraged about the impact the strength staff has had in combination with the added nutritional resources that have been made available to UW student-athletes.
“The gains that we’ve made in lean muscle mass have and will have in the future a profound impact on our football program,” said Bohl. “That is due to a lot of hard work by our strength and conditioning staff and our student-athletes. Along with that, the resources provided by the Cowboy Joe match from the Wyoming State Legislature are really starting to show benefits by enabling us to enhance the nutrition program for our players.”
In addition to the gains in weight, the winter conditioning program that the UW strength and conditioning staff directed prior to the start of spring practice also has made a big impact in the Cowboys’ progress in spring drills.
“Sometimes when you’re in the midst of spring ball and you’ve been here for awhile you begin to lose site of the good condition our players are in,” said Bohl. “Scottie Hazelton, who is an experienced football coach and joined our staff after the first of this year, has been really impressed by the condition of our players. That has allowed us to practice at a higher level and allowed our players to be able to execute better. That is a compliment to both our players and our strength and conditioning staff.”
Bohl did say that due to a recent rash of flu symptoms Tuesday’s practice did have a number of players missing, but he added that the team was still able to double-rep in spite of the illnesses. Bohl described it as, “The worst I’ve seen it (the illnesses). Typically, you’ll have guys return in a day or two. This has been three days that some guys have been down.”
Due to a spring snowstorm earlier in the day, the Cowboys practiced in the Indoor Practice Facility on Tuesday afternoon. That marked only the second time this spring the Cowboys were unable to practice outside in War Memorial Stadium.
Wyoming will return to the practice field on Thursday for the eighth of 15 spring practices, and will conclude the third week of spring football with their first scheduled scrimmage on Saturday, April 8. That scrimmage will be held at 1 p.m. in Casper, Wyo., on Cheney Alumni Field at Natrona County High School. That scrimmage will be open to the media and the general public.
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