Eberhardt’s UW career likely over after ‘significant knee injury’
LARAMIE -- Ayden Eberhardt's football career at the University of Wyoming is likely over, Craig Bohl announced Monday morning.
Wyoming's head coach said the super senior wide receiver suffered what is believed to be a "significant knee injury" late in last Saturday's game at San Jose State
"We'll get some confirmation here probably later on today, but I would say there's a great likelihood that his career is going to be done," Bohl said. "It's unfortunate."
Eberhardt, a former walk-on from Loveland, Colo., hauled in just one catch for 12 yards in the Cowboys 27-21 loss to the Spartans. Bohl said that crucial third-down grab defines what Eberhardt has meant to this program since he came to Laramie in 2016.
"Levi (Williams) found him and I think Ayden broke about three tackles and came up with first down," he said. "Our sideline erupted."
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On the play Eberhardt was injured on, Bohl said he was on the far side of the field in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter. Still, he mustered up the strength to bolt to the visiting sideline with the game still in question.
"I really want to applaud him though," Bohl said of Eberhardt. "... We were under one minute, and he was way on the far side and ran off the field as opposed to going down because of the 10-second (play clock) run off. I think that embodies where our teams at. I mean, they're fighting and we're going to keep them in the fight."
Eberhardt had 50 career receptions totaling 764 yards during his five years on the Cowboys' roster. He caught two touchdown passes, both during the 2019 season. The first came on a 53-yard connection with Sean Chambers during a Week 4 meeting in Tulsa.
The other was another dramatic catch in traffic late in the second quarter of the Arizona Bowl.
Williams rolled to his right and heaved a ball toward the goal line as he was pushed out of bounds and under the Georgia State bench. Eberhardt, sensing his QB was in trouble, came back for the ball around the 32-yard line, made a move up field, avoided a defender, outraced the Panthers' secondary and dove into the end zone to give Wyoming a commanding 24-10 halftime lead.
Through eight games this season, Eberhardt caught 21 passes for 298 yards.
Eberhardt was also a mainstay on the Cowboys' special teams unit. He has served as both a punt returner and a gunner on kickoffs. In the 2019 Border War, Eberhardt set the tone by de-cleating the Colorado State kick returner and forcing a fumble. Wyoming would go on to win that one 17-7 on a frosty night inside War Memorial Stadium.
"I cannot put into words what Ayden Eberhardt means to our program," Bohl said. "You know, he's a guy that that shows up every day, he's encouraging to other guys, he's competent, he makes plays, he's humble, he works hard, he's a great leader and he's always encouraging younger players. We'll need to have a next-up mentality."
Alex Brown is expected to fill the void at the Z receiver spot. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound freshman from Spring, Texas, has three catches this season for 33 yards.
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