February 5, 2013
GWG Q & A on Wyoming Offensive Class
The GoWyoGo.com staff in Tom Lacock and Ian McMackin answered the Q & A on the 2013 offensive class and gave their insights on where this group is expected to impact immediately or in the future.
Read what they had to say about the Wyoming offensive recruits.
Who is the biggest get in your opinion for the Pokes on offense in the recruiting class of 2013?
TL: We get to see plenty of highlight film on these guys, but it is a far different thing to see them in-person and that is why I took a lot of stock in the comments we received from other Rivals.com scouts regarding Wyoming prospects.
Josh Heimholdt certainly had some nice accolades for Riese discussing his quick feet. He was the 14th best player in Wisconsin and he has the one thing you can't teach in size.
I think down the road Connor Riese and Kurtis Stirneman are two guys the Pokes build around offensively.
IM: The pickup of five offensive linemen is always huge in my book because a program always needs depth at the position considering it takes a few years to develop these players.
I really like the pickup of offensive linemen Connor Riese because of his size and athleticism. He looks to be the future tackle that a good offense needs down the road.
What was the biggest need offensively for the team this year and how was it addressed in recruiting?
TL: I think we just touched on it - you build teams through the lines and there is no doubt that is what the Cowboy coaches tried to do with this class.
Nick Carlson leaves and they go get a JUCO center that can contribute right away in Albert Perez. They get tackles in Riese and Stirneman who can be three-year starters.
They get Taylor Knestis who started the year flying under the radar and is now an All-Stater in Colorado.
There is a lot of raw athletic ability in this group and some good frames to work with too. One thing that really stands out to me in this class of offensive linemen is the intelligence.
Taylor Knestis' GPA at last report was 3.43. Charlie Renfree was getting interest from Duke. This is a group that does a lot to smash the stereotype of the big, dumb lineman. I really like what they did along the offensive line in this class.
IM: The addition of more athletic offensive linemen to the Cowboy program is important. I see the Pokes lacking in the area in the first four seasons under Dave Christensen and my sense is they picked up the players they needed to address this situation in the future.
Who is the guy who might fly a little under the radar but may come out of this class as the one who really turns heads?
TL: I don't know that your highest-ranked recruit qualifies as an "under-the-radar," guy, but JD Krill is certainly intriguing not only for his skill set, but for ways those talents might be used.
At 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds he has a terrific frame and when you look at his highlight video he is a powerful blocker at the point of attack.
By the same token, he has caught just 15 passes in two years of junior college ball and has a 4.8 second time in the 40-yard dash.
It makes you wonder if there is a receiver waiting to break out of a running offense or a guy who has a reputation as a very strong blocker from the edge.
Bringing Krill's skill set to a spread offense in Wyoming makes you wonder if the coaching staff is looking for more of a power-running attack than it had a year ago when it saw big leads dry up in the second half against Air Force and UNLV. Does Krill become part of an offense that can score early and then close late?
IM: Since RB Omar Stover is already on campus, there is chance he can work himself into the rotation early and lend competition and depth to the position.
I think wide receiver Tanner Gentry can be a good wide receiver in this scheme in the future and has some of the same skills as current Poke Dominic Rufran.
Is there a guy in this class who has the most instant impact?
TL: I don't know that you recruit junior college players unless you have a need to fill right away. I think that is where Albert Perez comes in. The 6-foot-1, 285-pound center from East LA College never meant to play college football but seems to have been recruited very specifically to take over for Nick Carlson.
He has the accolades from the Junior College scouts who seem to like his feet, his leadership and the fact he played in a spread offense in junior college.
IM: The two players I see making the early impact is tight end JD Krill and center Albert Perez since they were brought in to fill an immediate void.
The scouting reports on both these players are good and Krill could step up and become a pleasant addition, especially giving the Wyoming offense some power up front with blocking and with the potential to make plays in the passing game.
Were you surprised by any one aspect of the recruiting class?
TL: Not many people on these boards will agree with much former Colorado State football coach Steve Fairchild ever had to say, but he was right when he said this,"the point of playing football on offense is to score touchdowns."
He was right. When you look at this recruiting class for Wyoming there are some guys who can get the ball into the end zone, but there isn't a tremendous amount of explosion along the offensive skill positions.
I take that to mean the Cowboys like what they have coming up through the ranks in the skill spots.
Running back Josh Tapscott had 13 scores and Stover another eight. That is nothing to sniff at, but there isn't any one guy who you look at as having instant impact at running back, wideout or quarterback.
IM: I wasn't too surprised by the offfensive recruits since the Cowboys are nearly set on offense with a number of returnees and promising underclassmen in the program, and went for the future.
Since the defense was the focal point for immediate contributors, the players on offense outside Krill and Perez are more future development players, though I think the running backs Omar Stover and Josh Tapscott could work themselves into the rotation sooner.
The emphasis was needed to have an instant, big play impact player on the offensive side of the ball. Cowboys appear to already have this in the program.
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