LARAMIE – Shortly after completion of the 2017 NFL Draft, three Wyoming Cowboys were reported to receive undrafted free-agent offers from NFL teams. Wide receiver Tanner Gentry received an offer from the Chicago Bears. Tight end Jacob Hollister received an offer from the 2017 NFL Champion New England Patriots, and linebacker Lucas Wacha received a free-agent offer from the Dallas Cowboys.
Earlier on Saturday, Cowboy running back Brian Hill was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, and center Chase Roullier was drafted in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins.
Tanner Gentry, Wide Receiver
(Chicago Bears, Undrafted Free Agent)
Gentry was one of the most explosive players in the Mountain West Conference and the nation his senior season of 2016. He totalled 1,326 receiving yards in 2016 to rank No. 1 in the MW and No. 12 in the nation. His 14 touchdown receptions ranked him No. 1 in the conference and No. 14 in the NCAA.
He is the second Cowboy wide receiver in the past four seasons to be selected in the NFL Draft. Former Cowboy Robert Herron was chosen in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Gentry, a senior from Aurora, Colo., earned Second Team All-Mountain West Conference honors from conference head coaches and media this past season. He was selected to the 2016 Biletnikoff Award Watch List, marking the second consecutive season he was recognized.
Gentry recorded seven 100-yard receiving games as a senior, including: a career high 184 yards at UNLV, 127 at Eastern Michigan, 124 at Nebraska, 113 vs. BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl, 112 at New Mexico, 109 at Nevada and 104 vs. Northern Illinois.
He concluded his Wyoming career with 2,815 career receiving yards and 180 receptions. That ranked him No. 5 in school history in career receiving yards and No. 8 in career receptions. With two TD receptions versus BYU in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl, Gentry improved his career total to 20 touchdown receptions and tied him with Herron (2010-13) for fourth place in Wyoming school history.
Jacob Hollister, Tight End
(New England Patriots, Undrafted Free Agent)
Hollister enjoyed an exceptional senior season for the Wyoming Cowboys. He was voted First Team All-Mountain West by conference head coaches and media.
His senior season, he caught 32 passes for 515 yards and had seven receiving touchdowns. His best day came against No. 13 ranked Boise State as he caught six passes for 144 yards and scored two receiving TDs. That performance in a 30-28 Wyoming win over the No. 13 ranked Broncos earned Hollister Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Hollister’s other top games in 2016 included: four catches for 91 yards and a touchdown at UNLV; four receptions for 69 yards and one TD against Utah State; three catches for 52 yards against San Diego State; and three receptions for 20 yards at Nebraska.
The native of Bend, Ore., was elected a team captain by his teammates in 2016.
He becomes the first Wyoming tight end selected in the NFL Draft since Consensus All-American Jay Novacek was drafted in the sixth round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the then St. Louis Cardinals. Novacek went on to become an All-Pro tight end for the Dallas Cowboys.
Lucas Wacha, Linebacker
(Dallas Cowboys, Undrafted Free Agent)
Wacha was named Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference as a senior by conference head coaches and media. He was invited to and played in the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Wacha concluded his Wyoming career with 344 career tackles to rank No. 7 in Wyoming history. Among all active FBS players in the nation in 2016, Wacha ranked No. 8 in career tackles (344). He recorded a personal best 108 total tackles his senior season. Wacha was 16th in the Mountain West in tackles per game for the 2016 season, averaging 7.7 per game. He also added 3.0 sacks, 9.0 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries this past season.
Over his four-year career, the Texarkana, Texas, native played in 49 career games for the Cowboys and started 40. His junior year, Wacha was shifted to middle linebacker and that is where he played for the final eight games of his junior season and all 14 games his senior year. He played outside linebacker earlier in his Cowboy career.
Wacha was voted a team captain both his junior and senior seasons at Wyoming. He will be returning to his home state of Texas to join former teammate Mark Nzeocha, who was the last Wyoming linebacker selected in the NFL Draft back in 2015. Nzeocha was a seventh round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2015 Draft.
University of Wyoming sports coverage
in Southwest Wyoming is brought to you by these great sponsors: