Joe Glenn's team is getting those birthdays he likes to talk about.
It also just got another year younger.
"It's a high time for us in so many ways," the sixth-year head coach said during Wyoming's football recruiting press conference today.
Following an initial statement from Glenn, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ron Wisniewski announced the signing of 17 incoming freshmen, two junior college signees, one transfer from a four-year school, a pair of grayshirt signees from 2007 and a trio of grayshirts for the spring of '08.
"This is, as we say, a red-letter day for Wyoming football," Glenn said. "I've always said about recruiting, I love it, I love what it's about in representing this great state and this university and our football program."
All total, Wyoming announced the signing of 25 recruits, 14 of which are projected as offensive players, 10 as defensive players and one punter/place-kicker.
But Glenn was equally excited about the talent he has returning from last year's team, a group that will lose just 12 seniors to graduation before next season.
"Our team needed some birthdays, and we're getting them," he said. "I think back on the year Air Force had, and they had 31 seniors. We had 12. Even CSU had 22 seniors. We had 12.
"We're going to be a little bit older, and we're going to be a little bit wiser and a little tougher and a little more together, and I can't wait to share what these kids can do for the University of Wyoming."
The 2008 Cowboy recruiting class features several players with the potential to contribute right away, led by:
•One of the top-ranked junior college quarterbacks in the nation in Dax Crum, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound signal caller from Mesa Community College in Arizona, as well as one of the top-ranked high school quarterbacks from the state of California in Adam Barry of Simi Valley;
•A tandem of tight end/h-back prospects in Orlando Arnold, a junior college transfer from Contra Costa Community College in California, and Brandon Ribble, an All-Colorado selection at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada;
•The No. 1 ranked linebacker and No. 9 ranked overall recruit from the state of Iowa in linebacker Ben Durbin from Gilbert;
•And a group of six young offensive linemen highlighted by the top recruit at any position in the state of Wyoming in Jim Downs from Glenrock, Wyo., and one of the best high school linemen from the state of Colorado in All-Colorado honoree Nick Williams from Highlands Ranch, Colo.
"With the addition of Dax Crum and Orlando Arnold, we're going to bring instant competition that I think will energize our team and put a buzz into the program," Glenn said. "I also believe we have a couple of grayshirts and a transfer on campus right now that have a chance to impact this team. Donate Morgan will be one of the fastest players on our team at wide receiver, and he showed that in practice this past year as he sat out to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. We need some help at the cornerback position with the graduation of Julius Stinson and Mike Medina, and we hope that Ryan Handford, with his speed and quickness, is a young man who will compete for playing time at that position.
"I will tell you that Orlando Arnold is one of the most athletic tight ends that I've ever had the opportunity to coach. He's big, fast, athletic and can catch the ball. He also starts on his junior college basketball team and, from talking to his junior college coaches, has a great work ethic on the practice field. He has a presence unlike few players that I've ever been around.
"The young men that we are bringing in from the high school ranks will give us as much speed as we've ever had in a recruiting class since we've been here at Wyoming. Josh Birmingham was the state 100-meter dash champion in his classification in the state of Oklahoma. James Caraway from Topeka, Kansas and Tashaun Gipson from Dallas both have great speed. Then you have Brandon Ribble, who is one of the best high hurdlers in the state of Colorado.
"Not only do we have athletes who can run, but we're bringing in some good size in Jim Downs from Glenrock, Wyoming; Nick Williams, one of the top linemen in Colorado; and Kyle Magnuson, who has been one of the best offensive linemen in the state of Indiana the last couple of seasons. I also like the toughness of this group. We had several of them in our summer camps, and have had an eye on a number of them for a long time."
Here's how the 2008 recruiting class breaks down:
Junior-College Signees Already Enrolled at UW: (1)
Junior-College Signees Who Will Enroll at UW in the Fall of 2008: (1)
Transfers From Four-Year Colleges: (1)
Grayshirt Signees From 2007: (2)
Grayshirt Signees in the Spring of 2008: (3)
High-School Signees: (17)
Junior-College Signees (Who Enrolled at UW in the Spring of 2008) (1):
Dax Crum*, QB, 6-4, 210 So. Phoenix, Ariz. (Mesa CC, Ariz.)
Junior-College Signees (Who Will Enroll at UW in the Fall of 2008) (1):
Orlando Arnold, TE, 6-4, 255 Jr. Richmond, Calif. (Contra Costa CC, Calif.)
Transfers From Four-Year Colleges (Who Went on Scholarship in the Fall of 2008) (1):
Donate Morgan, WR, 5-11, 185 Jr. Chicago, Ill. (St. Joseph's College, Ind.)
Grayshirt Signees From February 2007 (Who Enrolled at UW in the Spring of 2008) (2):
Ryan Handford* #, CB, 5-9, 175 Fr. Corona, Calif. (Santiago)
Levi Salmans* #, OL, 6-7, 275 Fr. Lafayette, Colo. (Monarch)
Grayshirt Signees From February 2008 (Who Will Not Enroll at UW Until the Spring of 2009) (3):
Josh Birmingham%, RB, 5-9, 177 Fr. Luther, Okla. (Luther)
Nick Carlson%, OL, 6-4, 235 Fr. Arlington Heights, Ill. (Prospect)
Josh Leonard%, OL, 6-4, 250 Fr. Helena, Mont. (Helena)
High-School Signees (17):
Adam Barry, QB, 6-1, 210 Fr. Simi Valley, Calif. (Moorpark)
Eric Benson, S, 6-2, 182 Fr. Tempe, Ariz. (Corona Del Sol)
Matt Birkeness, LB, 6-4, 215 Fr. Littleton, Colo. (Columbine)
James Caraway, WR/RB, 5-11, 170 Fr. Topeka, Kan. (Highland Park)
Chance Crawford, LB, 6-3, 215 Fr. Fort Collins, Colo. (Fort Collins)
Jim Downs, OL, 6-7, 265 Fr. Glenrock, Wyo. (Glenrock)
Ben Durbin, LB, 6-3, 220 Fr. Gilbert, Iowa (Gilbert)
Tashaun Gipson, CB, 6-0, 180 Fr. Dallas, Texas (Kimball)
David James, CB, 5-11, 175 Fr. Edmond, Okla. (Edmond Memorial)
Dylan Kildahl*, DE, 6-4, 240 Fr. Ault, Colo. (Highland)
Kyle Magnuson, OL, 6-6, 305 Fr. Elkhart, Ind. (Concord)
Austin McCoy, P/K, 6-3, 190 Fr. Winter Haven, Fla. (Winter Haven)
Justin Morgan, WR, 6-2, 180 Fr. Chicago, Ill. (Mt. Carmel)
Corey Orth*, DL, 6-5, 240 Fr. Buena Vista, Colo. (Buena Vista)
Brandon Ribble, H-Back, 6-5, 210 Fr. Arvada, Colo. (Ralston Valley)
Trevor Shaw, DE, 6-4, 230 Fr. Fort Collins, Colo. (Poudre)
Nick Williams, OL, 6-5, 265 Fr. Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Highlands Ranch)
*Enrolled at the University of Wyoming and on scholarship starting January of 2008.
#Grayshirts who went on scholarship in January of 2008. These grayshirts were originally signed in 2007, but count toward the 2008 recruiting class total.
%First-time grayshirt signees, who won't enroll nor go on scholarship until January of 2009. These grayshirts don't count toward the 2008 recruiting class total.
Glenn, Staff Excited About '08 Signees
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