Coaches are the Difference for Caraway

James Caraway didn't get to see everything he would have liked to see during his trip to Laramie last week. And his parents were concerned about the distance between his home town and potential future school. Luckily for Cowboys fans, UW coaches went the extra mile in the speedster's recruiting…

James Caraway gave his verbal.

And there's not much chance he'll change his mind—even if Kansas comes calling.

"I'd just say that (KU head coach Mark) Mangino would have to come to my job, my house and my school to make me (change my mind)," said Caraway, who verbally committed to Wyoming after watching the team's coaches do just that.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound speedster from Topeka, Kansas said the deciding factor behind his commitment was the way the Wyoming coaching staff welcomed him.

"They came out to my house, they came out to my school and they came out to my job," he said. "I wasn't even at work, and they just wanted to come see where I worked. They talked to my boss and everything."

Caraway made an official visit to Laramie last weekend where he had a chance to see his future campus firsthand. He didn't get to see the university in full swing, however, as his trip fell during the school's Christmas break, and it took a lengthy phone conversation with head coach Joe Glenn on Tuesday night to clear up a few last-minute concerns.

"When I was up there, I got to see a lot of things, but I didn't get to see a few things that I really wanted to see," Caraway said. "I talked to (Glenn) about somehow being able to see those things, and he said, ‘Don't worry, we'll show them to you.'

"(He) just made sure everything was cool."

Caraway then made sure everything was cool with his parents, who had expressed concerns about the distance between Topeka and Laramie after his official visit.

"My parents, they felt that it was my decision, and (wanted to make sure) I (would) be comfortable there and all that other stuff," he said. "I also said that I needed to get away from home because most of the players that come out of here, from Topeka, they leave and then they come right back. So I wanted to go to another state where I'd have a chance to not come right back."

Wyoming offered Caraway a scholarship last month after seeing film of his senior season, and besides the Cowboys, Kansas was the only other school he considered. The Jayhawks stayed in contact with the senior but never offered a scholarship, and in the end, UW appeared to be the better fit.

"The competition is the right competition for me," he said. "I feel I could stand out again, that I could get there and become an impact player and do some good and also get the grades."

Caraway's speed (he has been clocked at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash) prompted coaches to look at him as a wide receiver, a position Wyoming will need to beef up with the loss of 2007 starting seniors Hoost Marsh and Michael Ford. And Glenn told the Highland Park High School standout that he would be able to compete for playing time right away.

"They needed athletes and playmakers, and they said that's what I could be," Caraway said. "The offensive coordinator (Bob Cole), he was saying that if I was good enough, he'd give me the ball all different ways, as many ways as possible."

Caraway told coaches he would move to Laramie in July, but he said last night it could be earlier. When he does arrive, he will already be one of the fastest players on the Pokes' roster—not that that will stop him from trying to add even more speed in the offseason.

"I feel I have the speed and the ability to make the plays," he said, "I would like to get even faster, but that's just the way I am. I feel like I can be a lot faster."

And he'll have a chance to show Cowboys fans just how much during the next four years—and maybe a few more after that.

"For sure I want to graduate," he said, "but part of the reason I'm going to Wyoming is because I feel I could play a lot. That could take me to another level, but that's not my goal. I just feel that if it's going to happen, if it's meant to happen, it will happen."

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