The schools stopped calling. The offers never came, and his future team finished the 2007 season on a four-game skid.
But Ben Durbin has no regrets about his preseason commitment to Wyoming—not even after seeing BYU rout the Pokes in an ugly 35-10 home loss during an official visit to Laramie last weekend.
"There wasn't a very big crowd," he said. "That kind of disappointed me a little, but the loss didn't really affect me at all."
In fact, the senior from Gilbert Junior-Senior High School in Gilbert, Iowa plans on a very different football experience at Wyoming from the one this year's squad endured.
"Me and some other commits were talking about how we're going to come in and change things around," he said.
Durbin committed to Wyoming last July—more than 16 weeks before the Pokes lost six of their last seven games. And after putting up mind-numbing stats in '07, the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has coaches feeling grateful that in this case, the early bird caught the worm.
"I had 143 tackles in nine games," he said of his senior season, "and I (was) first-team All-State, District MVP (and) All-District first-team."
Durbin caught the attention of several Midwest schools after posting an impressive 104 tackles, eight sacks and 19 tackles for a loss as a junior, but only Wyoming was willing to extend the big linebacker a preseason scholarship offer.
"A lot of the schools pretty much stopped talking to me after I committed," he said.
Now four months later, he couldn't be happier with his visit to the Cowboy State.
"I liked pretty much everything about it. They've got really nice facilities. The new indoor facility is pretty top-notch. I've seen a lot of them, and this is probably one of the best I've seen in awhile.
"The first night I was there, I was with Brian Hendricks (freshman linebacker), and I hung out with all the redshirts because all the starters needed to go to sleep because they had a game the next day. The next day I hung out with Weston Johnson (sophomore linebacker)….They gave me all kinds of tips, and they just showed me the ropes around Laramie.
"They're all real nice, they're all real cool. One thing that sticks out in my mind about the coaches is they've all been together for about 17 years, and they all live on the same street, and all their wives hang out and stuff, so that's pretty cool."
Durbin said he expects to redshirt as a freshman.
"Size-wise I think I'm pretty good," he said. "I think I may get stronger, but size-wise, I think I'm okay there. But speed, obviously the speed of the game is going to be five times faster than high school, so the speed of the game is going to be something I need to get used to."
He credits his coach, Scott Auderer, with helping him prepare for football at the next level.
"During my senior season, I learned a lot about the game in general, like how to read things, how to watch film, how to pick up on tendencies. I just learned a lot about that from my coach."
Durbin Unfazed by Wyoming Losses
Cowboy Blitz Top Stories
Photo Gallery: UCLA Elite & Big Man CampsJun. 28 -- Check out our photo gallery of UCLA's camps last week, including action shots of some top priorities in the 2018 class and committed prospects...
Bruin Report OnlineYesterday at 10:28 AM
Will WR target verbal to WSU on Wednesday?DECISION DAY IS coming for wide receiver Jalin Cooper. The New York native tripped to Washington State over the weekend and left Pullman on Tuesday morning blown away. Down to five…
CougfanTuesday at 9:20 AM
Pac-12 Fight For SoCal WRGardena (Calif.) Serra wide out John Jackson was one of the players we saw at the recent UCLA Elite Camp.
Scout FootballMonday at 4:26 PM
2018 WR Babb breaks down summerWith 10 offers under his belt, Lance Babb II is hunting for more as he looks to improve this summer.
Golden State PrepsMonday at 11:24 AM