Wyoming Lands QB Commit

Their season ended on a sour note, and their staff shake-up made recruiting a bit nerve-racking. But Wyoming coaches got treated to a bit of an early Christmas today when California standout quarterback Adam Barry gave the Pokes a verbal. Now they just have to figure out which of their gunslingers should be the starter next year…

It might make their holiday recruiting respite a bit less worrisome.

But Wyoming's coaches will have their work cut out for them when they organize the depth chart at quarterback next season.

California gunslinger Adam Barry committed to the Cowboys earlier this evening, adding his name to the list of candidates already vying for the role of the team's starting signal caller in 2008.

"I feel like it's the place where I can come in and make the best impact," Barry said.

The commitment came on the heels of a visit from three UW coaches to Barry's home in Moorpark, Calif. yesterday.

"Coach (Joe) Glenn (head coach), Coach (Bob) Cole (offensive coordinator) and Coach (Ron) Wisniewski (recruiting coordinator), they came out and we just kind of talked it over," said Barry, who then discussed the visit with his family before making the final call.

"I called coach Wisniewski (tonight)…and just decided to commit," he said. "(Wisniewski) said this just made his night about ten times better."

Wyoming's quarterback situation has been up for grabs ever since the Pokes ended 2007 with more interceptions (19) than touchdown passes (12), and Barry's verbal will make the competition even fiercer this offseason.

"They (coaches) said I'm going to have a chance to come in and take the starting spot, but they said, ‘Look, you're going to have to come in and compete like any other guy,'" Barry said. "They're going to let me know a little bit more later on when spring ball comes along."

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound gunslinger with a highly-touted arm, Barry is the highest-rated recruit the Cowboys have landed so far this year. He is listed as a three-star prospect by Scout.com and has been ranked as one of the nation's top 100 high school quarterbacks for much of his senior season.

"I'm going to come in and compete, and if I win the starting spot, great, but if not, I'm going to be there and learn the offense," he said. "I would rather come in and start as a freshman. That's always been my thing…I like all the competition. I've grown up with it, so I like coming into situations like that, just being able to come in and if you can get the job, great, if not, you just have to keep working."

To take the starting role, Barry will have to beat out Karsten Sween, the Cowboys' starter for most of the '07 season and redshirt freshman Chris Stutzriem, who was the highest-rated high school quarterback in the state of Oklahoma in 2006. Also on the Pokes' current roster is rising senior Ian Hetrick, who started one game (against UNLV) midway through the season after turnover problems prompted coaches to bench Sween. But the Casper Star-Tribune reported last week that Hetrick did not meet with Bob Cole when he visited Laramie after being hired as the replacement for former OC/QB coach Bill Cockhill, and rumors that Hetrick will transfer have reportedly been circulating around campus.

Whether Hetrick ends up being part of the quarterback battle or not, Barry said the competition for the spot will be wide open.

"They said…it's anybody's job right now," he said. "Everybody's going to have to come in and work, and (Glenn) was kind of saying that more about the (offensive) coordinator, too, because he obviously hasn't even seen any of the quarterbacks play yet."

Wherever he ends up on the depth chart, Barry said Wyoming is the right fit—although he wasn't so sure a few weeks ago. Cockhill had played a major part in the senior's recruiting, and when Barry learned of UW's coaching shake-up, he was hesitant to follow through on what had once seemed like an easy choice.

"I was going to commit…but then I found out about that whole coaching staff change," he said. "Montana offered pretty quick after Wyoming did, and I took my trip out there. It was a good time. I mean, I was kind of leaning toward them and then leaning back (toward Wyoming).

"It's a tough decision because it's somewhere where you are going to spend the next four to five years of your life, so you want to make it right. Tonight I just felt that way, that this is where you can come in and make the biggest impact."

Now it will be up to UW's coaches to decide which signal caller can make the biggest impact on the Cowboys' chances of winning in 2008.

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