Committed Cowboy: Magnuson Ready for Wyoming

With most of the Cowboys' coaches currently hitting the recruiting trails, one player they won't have to worry too much about is Indiana offensive lineman Kyle Magnuson. The big senior will stick by his original commitment to Wyoming—one that he gave back in July—thanks, in large part, to his relationship with the team's coaching staff…

Since leading his team to a 14-1 record a year ago, Kyle Magnuson has seen a steady stream of individual honors.

The 6-foot-7, 306-pound offensive tackle was quickly named to the Indiana Coaches Association's junior All-State team as well as the Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times Top 33 (the top 33 high school players in Indiana) at the end of 2006.

The hype around Magnuson grew further when he graced the cover of Indiana Football Digest's preseason publication, "The Tremendous 26," (a look at the state's top 26 prep players) this preseason.

Several Division I Schools began taking a hard look at the bruising lineman, including Bowling Green and Toledo, who along with Wyoming extended Magnuson early scholarship offers this summer. In addition, Marshall, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, Penn State, Western Michigan, eastern Michigan and Cincinnati were all pursuing him.

It was the Cowboys who won the young man's services, however. Magnuson committed to the Pokes in early July, and even after securing a free pass to college, the big blocker continued to impress.

His high school squad, Concord Community HS (Elkhart, Ind.), did not finish quite as well in 2007 as it did during Magnuson's junior season, but the year was by no means a disappointment.

"We succeeded more than most people thought we were going to do this year," he said last week. "We finished up the season 8-4…and actually made it to the sectional championship where we lost to (a team which) ended up going down to the state game."

So far, Magnuson has earned All-Conference, All-Area and All-State second-team honors, and he's not done yet.

"There's a couple other (individual honors)," he said. "South Bend's Dream Team, and there's still more to come, too."

His prep career clearly finished on a high note, but Magnuson's commitment to Wyoming came long before the team's roller-coaster season left head coach Joe Glenn in the middle of a postseason coaching shakeup. After starting the year with four wins in their first five games—including a 23-3 season-opening rout of later top-25 Virginia—the Cowboys sputtered down the stretch, losing six of their last seven and eventually saying goodbye to fifth-year offensive coordinator Bill Cockhill.

Still, Magnuson said that neither the coaching change nor the team's late-season losses will affect his original plans to come to Laramie next year—although he wasn't exactly thrilled with the way things turned out.

"I really liked all the coaches there. There were all really nice, real personable," he said. "It's a great, great coaching staff. I really hope they can find someone who can replace Coach Cockhill, just someone upbeat and personable like he is."

Magnuson's main recruiters were Chris Knutsen (Special Teams/Outside Linebackers Coach) and Chad Germer (Offensive Line Coach), but even though he had little contact with Cockhill, the senior did feel a bit concerned when news of the firing first broke.

"I think everyone would be a little bit worried, but I try to stay positive," he said. "(Knutsen and Germer) were the ones that helped me make up my mind to commit to Wyoming, because I'd really like to be coached by Coach Germer, and Coach K (Knutsen) is right up there too."

Magnuson made an official visit to Laramie for the team's 35-10 loss to BYU a few weeks ago, and despite the Cowboys struggles on the field, the trip was a definite success.

"I think I met every single coach and all of them were really nice," he said. "They knew me by name and took me around and everything."

Even the struggles of Germer's offensive line, which gave up 30 sacks (sixth in the MWC) this season, didn't seem to bother the future Cowboy.

"His line is really young," Magnuson said, "so it isn't all a coaching fault.

"If I remember, they only had like five seniors playing. If you think about that, the defense was ranked sixth in the country. I mean, that's pretty good.

"There were some injuries and there were some people that kind of got rattled a little bit, but that happens to the best of teams. It happens in high school, it happens in college."

It happened to Wyoming. But at least the Cowboys know that whatever effect their struggles may have had on their program, Magnuson was never rattled in his decision to stick with the team he originally chose, coaching changes or not.

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