WRs at a Glance: Greg Bolling

Coming off a 2006 season in which he had just one reception for zero yards, it wouldn't be surprising if Wyoming wide receiver Greg Bolling didn't make the front page of most fans' preseason watch lists. At least one person has taken notice of the speedy sophomore's potential, however, and he's not shy about offering the youngster plenty of praise.

"You're going to see some stuff from Greg Bolling that you're going to love," Cowboys Head Coach Joe Glenn told the media in a press conference last Friday. "He's a fun guy to watch."

Still, you shouldn't feel bad if you haven't heard much about the 6-foot-2, 180-pound wideout. He didn't log enough field time or do enough with it last year to turn many heads.

After what he's shown in the off-season, though, you may want to keep an eye on him this year.

Bolling was "virtually uncoverable" this spring, according to Foxsports.com analyst Pete Fiutak, who called the fleet-footed athlete "a new potential star." Bolling torched the Cowboys' talented defensive backs in the opening scrimmage, blowing by senior starting cornerbacks Michael Medina and Julius Stinson on his way to grabbing two touchdown passes from backup quarterback Ian Hetrick.

"Don't be shocked if he emerges as the team's top scoring receiver," Fiutak writes.

And while it will undoubtedly take more than a couple off-season receptions and some kind words from Wyoming coaches to convince the more skeptical crowd that Bolling is the real deal, we here at CowboyBlitz are buying into the hype. Bolling is our official pick to be the offense's biggest breakout star in '07, and since we haven't gotten a single prediction wrong throughout this site's highly-discussed history, this is pretty much a lock. Bolling may as well start practicing his end zone dance right now.

Still, we realize it may not make one bit of difference to anyone what we think, but if Bolling does become the Pokes' go-to-guy in the passing game, remember that you heard it here first…and then tell all your friends about how prophetic we were…and then buy your dad a subscription…and then send us donations…

Sorry about that…we forgot where we were for a second…but seriously, send us donations…just joking…but not really…

Anyway, Bolling's spring performance raised a few UW coaches' eyebrows and sealed his status as the Cowboys' projected starter at the outside "Y" position.

"You're starting to see what I saw in every practice last year," Glenn told the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle after the Pokes' first scrimmage last March. "Maybe because of his youth, he didn't get into the flow of things last season. But you're seeing what I'm seeing now."

Bolling said the scrimmage helped him envision what he could bring to the team this year.

"Going against two of the best corners probably in the Mountain West Conference…and doing what I did in the spring really gets my confidence up," he said. "I think coming on the field this fall, going against any corner, I can do what I did against them in the spring."

He'll get his shot when he takes the field September 1 in his first ever division-one start against Virginia. And with several proven receivers returning for the Pokes in 2007, the Cavaliers' defense may not give the unsung sophomore the kind of attention a first-half touchdown catch would surely command.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. Yet Glenn's glowing reviews of Bolling's practice theatrics just wouldn't quit during Friday's press conference.

"I go home after practice, and Michele (Glenn's wife) says, ‘Tell me something great about tonight's practice,' and almost every night I say, ‘You should have seen the catch Greg Bolling made," he said.

Glenn told of just such a catch from an August 9 practice, the day before the press conference. Bolling ran a flag route in one-on-one drills. "The ball was thrown way out of bounds," Glenn said, but Bolling leaped high in the air and pulled in the pigskin with just his left hand.

"He may be the most special receiver we have," Glenn said this summer. "He can be a huge deep threat for us, but he is capable of making all types of catches, especially those bordering on the spectacular."

In high school, Bolling was extremely well-decorated at three different positions. His senior year he played quarterback and defensive back, but as a junior, he was an all-state wideout in Colorado. The year away from the receiver spot may have contributed to his lack of production in 2006, but he showed tremendous athleticism in every role he played as a prep standout.

Bolling earned All-Colorado honors as a DB for all classifications his senior year, and he was named First-Team All-Conference as a quarterback, despite playing only a year at the position.

Now, with an entire freshman season and an impressive start to his sophomore year under his belt, Bolling is starting to get Jovon Bouknight comparisons. Both players had similar high school careers, playing in the Denver area and receiving honors at the quarterback spot before transitioning to wide receiver at Wyoming.

We know what Bouknight went on to do. Is the same possible from Bolling? Let's see what the magic eight ball says. Shake, shake, shake. "You may rely on it."

See we told you so.


Bolling's 2007 Keys to Success:

1. Big plays. There are a number of things that make Greg Bolling a special player. He's extremely fast. When lined up on the outside he'll be able to get past most defenders and get behind opposing defenses. He's also a big target at 6-2. Combine that with some of the hops Glenn raved about (what?...no not the stuff they put in beer Kyle…gosh…), and he should be an easy target for Sween wherever he is on the field.

2. Understanding coverage schemes. We actually got a chance to ask Bolling himself on Friday what part of his game he is currently trying to improve upon. Here was his response: "The thing, probably, I need to work on the most going into the season is learning how to read my defenses. College defenses are kind of hard to read." We couldn't agree more. (So are college textbooks…that's why we only have one and a half college graduates writing articles for this site instead of two…but that's another story).


Notes:

Here are a couple more questions and answers from our interviews with Bolling and Coach Bill Cockhill, the Cowboys' offensive coordinator.

Bolling:
Do you feel like you have a relationship with quarterback Karsten Sween that some of the other receivers don't have because you're both sophomores?
"Karsten came in a year before me but even still, with me playing last year and he being a redshirt sophomore, this could be a tandem for the next three years that we could really have Wyoming football up about."

What's the strength of your offense?
"I would say the strength of our offense has to be our offensive line. They've been working their butts off. I mean, I know they're just so young, but they were in the weight room after hours doing things that other people weren't doing. So I feel like they're probably the strength of our offense."

Bill Cockhill:
Is there one receiver in particular on the team that has the best shot at becoming Sween's go-to-guy?
"I think he feels pretty comfortable with all the guys. He may feel a little more comfortable with Greg (Bolling) because they're pretty close to the same age and have worked a lot together and what not. So I'd say maybe him, but I think he's got a pretty good rapport with all the guys."

What does Bolling bring to the offense?
"Greg is a tall guy that can go up and make plays down the field."


Log on tomorrow and see our feature about Bolling's senior teammate, wide receiver and kick return specialist, Hoost Marsh.


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