Welcome to another Wyoming roster preview to supplement the series about Coach Luke’s journey for peace and happiness in NCAA Football 14. For any new readers, feel free to check out the about page of the site to read about this whole project and catch up on the past installments. This preview is meant to give you a closer look at the team since there are so many players to know on a fictional football team.
FYI: There is a Twitch stream tonight at 8:00 PM EST if you want to see the start to the Year 21 season after reading about it.
For two straight seasons, Coach Luke has gone 13-1 with his Wyoming Cowboys. Those two losses in two years have stung. Changing the result in one of those games may have meant that the Cowboys would already be national champions. We can’t change the past though. Instead, we have to win now.
LeBron James and Coach Luke have continued to tolerate each other in Wyoming. Coach Luke was able to convince LeBron that an easier schedule this year may make an undefeated season possible. LeBron really wants to move the team out of the Mountain West Conference and into the world of Independent teams but Coach Luke wants at least one more chance to win a championship from the MWC and an easier schedule may help with that.
Lamont Collins has become a national star and is a favorite to win the Heisman this year. There’s a fear that the team doesn’t have a plan in place in case he leaves early, but that’s a worry for another day. Once again, the only time is now.
As for the here and now, the question is whether this Cowboys team has what it takes to win a championship before Lamont Collins leaves. Let’s take a look.
Meet the Offense
The good news is that this offense is built to win now. Next year is another story but this year is the year as the entire offensive line is led by seniors and there aren’t even any sophomores nor freshmen within this starting lineup.
The surprising news within this starting lineup is that Jaymond Woods is the starting halfback over Bo Sullivan. After the legendary halfback Anthony Cox graduated, everyone thought it would be Bo’s job but Jaymond had other plans.
Icky Woods: HB Jaymond Woods
Jaymond Woods and Bo Sullivan both arrived in Laramie in the same year. For whatever reason, it was always Bo that got the attention. Bo just had a bit more pop and was higher on the depth chart for the past few seasons.
When Anthony Cox went down with an injury two seasons ago, it was Bo that got the opportunity to replace him. He became a local star during his memorable campaign as halfback that year.
Jaymond didn’t say a word. He just kept working. Bo was the dynamic back who could break tackles and make amazing plays. Jaymond was the speedster that nobody got to see except for Coach Luke and his teammates. Jaymond thought he’d be the man in Wyoming but, instead, he only got 14 total carries in his first three years on the team.
When Anthony Cox left Laramie, Jaymond pleaded to Coach Luke to give him a chance and not just hand the ball over to Bo Sullivan. Coach Luke liked this attitude and asked Jaymond to prove his worth in practice then.
He did. He went on to train his butt off and became one of the fastest guys in practice, blowing by Bo Sullivan in every drill that they did together.
Coach Luke knew it wouldn’t be a popular decision considering how beloved Bo had become but Jaymond had proven his worth, just as he was asked. The job was his.
Need For Speed: WR Greg Ernst
Growing up outside of Cleveland, Greg Ernst got used to hearing all about Coach Luke and the Akron Zips. He dreamed of playing there and being the next Chauncey White. That dream ended when Coach Luke surprisingly left Akron after back-to-back titles a few years ago.
Greg started high school soon after Coach Luke’s Ohio exodus. He still pictured Akron as his preferred school but that eventually started to change. Akron started to get worse and worse after Coach Luke left and Greg started to realize that the championship swagger was created by Coach Luke himself and not the University of Akron.
He looked up Wyoming on a map and started to study it so that he could impress Coach Luke one day. He started trying to mold himself into the speedster that Coach Luke coveted. When recruiting time came, it wasn’t Coach Luke that called up Greg Ernst. It was Greg who called up Coach Luke. Coach Luke didn’t know what to think of it at first. Eventually, he grew to like it and realized this kid was different. Greg was hungry and wanted to play at Wyoming and that’s what Coach Luke needed in those early days in Laramie.
Just a few short years later, Greg Ernst has found his way into the starting lineup of a Coach Luke team and he is eager to prove himself.
Players Talked About In Previous Years
- QB Lamont Collins (99 OVR, JR) – Year 18 Preview, Year 19 Preview
- WR Jeff Mooney (99 OVR, SR) – Year 19 Preview
- QB Charles Smith (97 OVR, SR) – Year 18 Preview
- LT Desmond Douglas (95 OVR, SR) – Year 20 Preview
- HB Bo Sullivan (90 OVR, SR) – Year 20 Preview
Meet The Defense
The Cowboys were on the verge of building a legendary defense until the last offseason changed everything.
Multiple cornerbacks had gotten into arguments with one another and decided they had it with the team. It resulted in CB Derrick Means and CB Chris Fulton choosing to leave early. This sudden departure has left the team scrambling to fill in holes.
The front seven is still strong but the secondary has question marks. In addition, there’s a freshman starting at defensive tackle this year. It will be up to the stars in the front seven to step up and make a splash this season.
Coach’s Pet: CB Brett Thomas
Part of the reason there was such strife in the secondary last year was that Coach Luke seemed to take a liking to freshman CB Brett Thomas. Brett didn’t have a breakout year on the field but he did everything asked of him in practice.
The natural athletes like Derrick Means and Chris Fulton didn’t understand why the undersized Brett Thomas was constantly being praised by Coach Luke. They eventually decided to leave Laramie in the offseason and take their shot at the NFL instead. Coach Luke’s love of Brett Thomas wasn’t the only reason that Means and Fulton left, but it certainly was a reason.
Now, suddenly, the workhorse Brett Thomas is the top cornerback on the team in his sophomore year. This wasn’t really the plan but here we are. He’s small and skinny but works his butt off and it will be interesting to see if he can become a star on the team now that he’s thrown into a marquee role.
The Thorn: MLB Axel Rose
The man with the funny little name is now the star of a funny little defense. The defense is finding its identity this year but Axel Rose hopes to play a big role in helping them form that identity. His parents named him after a rockstar from a bygone era but that name doesn’t mean that much to him anymore. He’s heard the jokes. He’s listened to Guns N Roses but they’re just too old school for him anyway. Frankly, he’s just tired of the attention regarding his name and he wants to get attention for his play on the football field.
He’s now a junior and projects to be the star of the defense now that Tavares McBride has graduated. With elite pursuit abilities, he should be a star in the run defense and cause chaos in the opponent’s backfield.
Players Talked About In Previous Years
Year 21 Overview
To get a more intimate look at the entire roster, you can check out the yearly roster spreadsheet here:
I have no idea what to expect going into this year. On paper, we are rated 99 overall across the board in the preseason. That often changes a little bit after the year begins and I wouldn’t be surprised if we aren’t actually a 99-rated defense. Regardless, we most likely should be favored in every game on our schedule.
The goal is to go undefeated in these games. Tennessee, Wisconsin, Fresno State and San Diego State look to be our toughest competition. The past two years have shown us that it’s often a surprise team that ruins our championship hopes though. Every game is important.
I think, and hope, that we can do it. Let’s go undefeated and let’s win a championship!
Twitch stream tonight!
For those of you that attend the Twitch streams, I will be changing my schedule moving forward. I’ll stream on Tuesday and Friday of this week, as usual, but then I will make a slight adjustment from that point on.
My new Twitch plan after this week is that I’ll always stream on Wednesday nights, usually stream on Friday nights and occasionally stream on Sunday randomly.
With that being said, here is the schedule for this season:
It’s a little bit funky but I hope you all can make a couple of the streams. If you’ve never watched a stream before, I encourage you to come and hang out as there are usually a few dozen friendly folks in there with me and they’re very eager to meet other fans of this series.
Tonight will go a long way in determining if we’re going to be national champions in Year 21. If all goes well, we may be streaming a BCS National Championship Game next Wednesday!