LARAMIE -- That phone conversation lasted roughly 20 minutes.

It was Christmas Eve, but the caller couldn't wait another minute. He needed to deliver a message. Feedback was also welcome. The two men on the line were already acquaintances, but this meeting was focused on building a foundation of trust and belief.

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"Basically he just let me know that a few guys were coming back on offense and he knew that we needed to step up," wide receiver Devin Boddie Jr. said. "He let me know we had a new (offensive coordinator) coming in and we're going to have a great offense, easy to learn and we're going to try and score."

The messenger was Wyoming's rookie head coach Jay Sawvel.



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Boddie called it the best Christmas present he's ever received.

"I love it," the 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior said with a smile, referring to Jay Johnson's no-name offensive scheme. "It's very fast-paced. I feel like coach Johnson really wants to attack vertically. These last two prices, we've been doing deep shots. I feel like we've been doing good with that, coming down with the ball. I think it's going to be an explosive offense.

"Everybody's learning it quickly, so I feel like it's going to help us in the fall, for sure."

Boddie snagged just six passes for 48 yards during his first season in Laramie. The Vanderbilt transfer also took four handoffs, amassing 26 yards.

Why wasn't he more involved in the offense in 2023?

Sawvel, the Cowboys defensive coordinator over the previous four seasons, refused to speak on the subject, joking that his focus was on stopping the guys on that side of the ball.

"I don't know," he said with a grin. "I didn't see him on a day-to-day basis."

Boddie has his theory.

"I think a key factor that had to do with it was we had a lot of older guys that had one year left last year," he said, referring to Ryan Marquez, Gunner Gentry, Ayir Asante, Wyatt Wieland and others. "... I wanted to get out there a little more. I think I could've made more plays. But, hey, it is what it is."

Learning Tim Polasek's pro-style offense, bonding with teammates and adjusting to his new home, the Memphis, Tenn., product said, also served as speed bumps.

Not anymore.

"It's time to take off," Boddie said. "It's time to go ahead and be explosive this year. That's what I've been focused on."

A former three-star prospect out of Whitehaven High School, Boddie was courted by Georgia Tech, Virginia, Louisville, Purdue and Cincinnati after hauling in 34 balls for 577 yards and seven touchdowns while leading the Tigers to the Class 6A state title game. Boddie capped his prep career with 2,300 receiving yards and 45 total touchdowns.

He ultimately chose Nashville.

During his four seasons at Vandy, Boddie caught 32 passes for 324 yards and a score. That touchdown came on a three-yard pitch and catch in a road loss at Stanford back in 2021.

Wyoming produced a fresh start. So does this fall.

"He's got skills we need," Sawvel said. "He's got a quickness to him, a speed to him and a good body. He's up over like 184 pounds. He's one of those guys that's gained 10-or-11 pounds this offseason and he looks good ... He's putting in the work."

Boddie's best statistical day in a Wyoming uniform came last September inside Darrell K. Royal Stadium. It was a modest outing -- three grabs, 25 yards -- but the guy under center is just part of what gives him so much optimism this season.



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It makes those grueling weight-lifting sessions worth it. The extra sprints and film study, too.

"He's been throwing darts," Boddie said of quarterback Evan Svoboda. "He's been throwing great balls at practice. I'm very confident in what he can do and I also feel like he's very confident in what we can do also. You've got 'J-Mike' (John Michael Gyllenborg) at tight end and you have a lot of receivers who can make plays.

"Everything is getting in a groove."

That's exactly why that phone call was made.

"We talked about different things and my expectation of what I want him to do when he comes back this offseason," Sawvel said of that conversation. "He's done that and I'm really happy with him right now."

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit:

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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