Craig Bohl Remains Mum on Wyoming’s Starting Running Back in Tucson
TUCSON, Ariz., -- You want to know. We want to know.
But the guy who does know isn't talking.
"Well, that's to be announced," Craig Bohl joked, flashing a grin Wednesday afternoon during a media session ahead of Friday's Arizona Bowl matchup against Ohio. "... Next question, please."
This isn't the first time Wyoming's ninth-year head coach has avoided the question. Last week, Bohl said he was holding his cards "pretty close to the vest" on that decision. "We'll be in great shape but I'm not going to divulge that," he added. "You'll find out on game day."
A secret that can't be concealed is the fact not one current running back on this roster has a collegiate rushing attempt.
Titus Swen, the team's leading ball carrier with 1,039 yards on 207 carries, was dismissed from the program for a "violation of team rules" after a season-ending loss at Fresno State. With DQ James and Dawaiian McNeely -- and their combined 702 yards on the ground -- were lost for the year with injuries. Joey Braasch was thought to be the leading candidate to handle the bulk of the load in Tucson. Instead he entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.
So, who's left standing?
Jordon Vaughn and LJ Richardson.
Vaughn, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound three-star recruit, was offered by 19 programs out of Manvel High School in the Greater Houston Area. The redshirt freshman has yet to appear in a game during his two seasons in Laramie. Richardson was rated the No. 13 prospect in the state of Nebraska by 247 Sports out of Bellevue West High School. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound true freshman earned Omaha World-Herald First Team All-Nebraska honors in both 2020 and 2021.
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The Cowboys face an Ohio squad that allows just 143.7 yards per game on the ground. That ranks the Bobcats fifth overall in the MAC. Tim Albin, who coached alongside Bohl at Nebraska and later at North Dakota State, smiled, shook his head and blurted out "shocker" when told that UW has yet to name its starting running back.
Still, Ohio's second-year coach said, he knows no matter who is in the backfield, he's getting the ball.
"They're going to have a quality guy back there," Albin said Wednesday. "Working along with coach Bohl -- and the system -- whoever they put out there is going to be a downhill bruiser. It will present challenges, again just consistently getting the person that they go with to the ground."
More about that system.
Albin said when he watches film on the Cowboys it "absolutely" reminds him of what he helped create in Fargo when he was the offensive coordinator in 2004.
"Coming off the football, getting vertical distortion, being tough -- those two-or-three yard gains, with their style of offense, in the second half, turns into six-and-seven-and-eight yard gains due to just the physicality of it," he said. "It's very difficult to simulate without just going full speed and scrimmage every practice."
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