Wyoming Football Begins Final Week of Spring Practice

April 16, 2012

LARAMIE, Wyo. - On Monday, the Wyoming Cowboys began their final week of spring practice with only the second indoor practice of 2012 spring drills. Due to the beautiful spring weather, the Cowboys have practiced outside 10 of the first 12 spring practices. Monday's practice was the final full-padded practice prior to Saturday's Brown and Gold Spring Game. Saturday's Brown and Gold Game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. from Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, and is free and open to the public.

"We had a real good practice today, in fact we had to go to overtime to get a winner in practice," said head coach Dave Christensen following Monday afternoon's practice in the Indoor Practice Facility. "I thought the guys continued to compete well out their today. We'll back off just a little bit on Wednesday. Friday will be a dress rehearsal for the Spring Game on Saturday.

"We'll split the teams up and have a draft with the captains later this week. We'll have ones and twos split up on both sides of the ball, and give guys a chance to compete in a game atmosphere. We've run the Spring Game a lot of different ways. Last year, we drafted teams. I liked it and the kids liked it so we decided to do it again."

The player draft will take place on Thursday, and those teams will be announced on Friday.

The big news on Monday was the announcement of team captains. Head coach Christensen announced that four Cowboys, two on offense and two on defense, were selected as 2012 team captains by the Wyoming Football coaching staff. The four team captains are: senior linebacker Korey Jones and senior strong safety Luke Ruff on defense; and senior center Nick Carlson and sophomore quarterback Brett Smith on offense.

"These four individuals were selected by the entire coaching staff, including our strength staff, for their work ethic, training and practice habits and their exceptional leadership skills," said Christensen. "We announced the captains to our team tonight, and we know these four individuals will continue to lead this team through summer conditioning sessions and on into fall camp, just like they have led throughout spring drills."

Jones started 11 of 13 games in 2011 after transferring to Wyoming from Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kan. He ranked eighth on last year's team in tackles, with 59, and ranked third on the team in both quarterback sacks (4.0) and tackles for loss (6.0) in his first season playing at the NCAA Division I level.

Ruff earned Second Team All-Mountain West honors as a junior in 2011. He ranked second on the Cowboy squad in tackles in 2011, with 102. That ranked him No. 6 in the Mountain West and No. 88 in the nation in tackles. Ruff also earned First Team Academic All-District honors, achieving a 3.56 cumulative-grade-point average in civil engineering.

Carlson was voted to the Second Team All-Mountain West team his junior season of 2011. He was named to the 2011 Rimington Trophy Watch List. The Rimington Trophy is awarded to the top collegiate center each season. Carlson was the leader of an offensive line that allowed only 12 quarterback sacks in 13 games last season, ranking UW No. 11 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed.

Smith was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2011. He was selected as the First Team Freshman All-America quarterback by CollegeFootballNews.com, and earned Second Team Freshman All-America honors from Yahoo! Sports. Smith set a new Mountain West freshman record for total offense, with 3,332 total yards. He ranked No. 33 in the nation in total offense last season.

The remainder of this week's practices will include a practice in helmets and shoulder pads on Wednesday and a helmet-only practice Friday leading up to the Spring Game.

2012 University of Wyoming Football Remaining Spring Practice Schedule
Wednesday, April 18 - 3:30 p.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #13)
Friday, April 20 - 3:30 p.m. (Non-contact, Practice #14)
Saturday, April 21 - 2 p.m. (Scrimmage #3, Practice, #15)