UW’s Top 50 football players: No. 31
LARAMIE -- During this summer series we are going to countdown the Top 50 football players in 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 me is Robert Gagliardi, Jared Newland, Ryan 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 more fair.
Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter page @7220sports.
Center/ guard, 2013-16, Burnsville, Minnesota
Here's why: They don't keep official stats for the center or guard, so here's the proof that Chase Roullier is one of the best players in Wyoming history:
* He blocked for Brian Hill, the running back that shattered the school rushing record -- 4,287 yards -- and it took him just three seasons.
* He was Josh Allen's battery mate. For two seasons -- 2016 and '17 -- Roullier snapped the ball to the Cowboys' gun slinger and watched him throw for more than 5,000 yards.
* Hill, yeah, he was the best. But did you know Shaun Wick is the sixth-leading rusher in Cowboys history with 2,533 yards? Wick also ran the ball behind big No. 73.
* Did I mention that before Allen walked into the huddle, Wyoming wasn't exactly scaring people with its passing attack? Yes, the defense knew the ball was going in the belly of Hill or Wick. They still couldn't stop it.
* Here's a stat they do keep: All-conference honors. Roullier snagged two of those, including first-team accolades as a senior. He was also named a second-team All-American.
* Roullier entered Laramie during the curtain call of Dave Christensen's UW career. Craig Bohl came on board but the wins didn't come immediately. Roullier and the Pokes won just six games in Bohl's first two seasons on the sidelines. In 2016, Wyoming hosted the conference title game and played in the Poinsettia Bowl.
* Roullier was selected a two-time team captain in 2015 and '16.
Not bad, right?
Roullier was selected by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Almost immediately he became a key cog in the "Hogs" offensive line. The center was awarded for his efforts this offseason with a four-year contract extension worth $40.5 million.
The kid is doing all right.
Gagliardi's take: Chase Roullier was taller and heavier than most of the kids he grew up with in Burnsville, Minnesota, so it is natural he ended up being an offensive lineman.
What earned Roullier the No. 31 spot on this list was because he was good at playing two different offensive line positions.
In 2015 as a junior, Roullier started every game at left guard and earned a second team All-Mountain West selection. Pro Football Focus said he allowed just six quarterback pressures and ranked him one of the top guards in the country.
Wyoming moved Roullier to center in 2016, a position he played some as a redshirt freshman in 2013. He was the lone senior on the line that season, earned first team All-MW honors and second team All-America honors by USA Today. Roullier was the anchor of a UW line that helped the offense score the most points in conference play. The Cowboys advanced to the MW Championship Game and played in its first bowl game since 2011.
Roullier played in 48 games in his UW career, and started the last 41. Like most offensive linemen, he was a smart guy who earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He was always honest and candid during interviews, no matter if the Cowboys won or lost. He is the epitome of what a great offensive lineman is all about.
How the panel voted: Cody Tucker (48), Robert Gagliardi (17), Jared Newland (27), Ryan Thorburn (40), Kevin McKinney (39)
Cody Tucker: Brand Manger and creator of 7220sports.com. Tucker has covered the Cowboys since June of 2019, but was a season-ticket holder for nearly three decades. Tucker has also covered Michigan State University Athletics for the Lansing State Journal and Detroit Free Press and the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins during his 10-year journalism career
Robert Gagliardi: Former sports editor and University of Wyoming beat reporter for WyoSports. Gagliardi covered the Cowboys from more than a quarter century. He also covered the team at the Branding Iron, the UW student newspaper. Gagliardi also co-authored the book: The Border War: The Bronze Boot Rivalry Between Colorado State and Wyoming
Jared Newland: Currently the local sales manager for Townsquare Media SE Wyoming, Newland worked with and around Wyoming athletics for 20 years, starting as a student athletic trainer in 1990. Newland has also served in the Sports Information Office, the Cowboy Joe Club, Wyoming Sports Properties and was a UW Athletics Hall of Fame Committee Member from 2002-14.
Ryan Thorburn: Currently covering the Oregon Ducks for The Register-Guard, Thorburn also covered the Cowboys in the early and mid-90's for the Branding Iron and Casper Star Tribune. He has also written four books about Wyoming Athletics: The Border War: The Bronze Boot Rivalry Between Colorado State and Wyoming, Cowboy Up: Kenny Sailors, The Jump Shot and Wyoming’s Championship Basketball History, Lost Cowboys: The Story of Bud Daniel and Wyoming Baseball and Black 14: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Wyoming Football
Kevin McKinney: Currently the senior associate athletics director for external affairs at the University of Wyoming, McKinney also serves as the radio color commentator for Wyoming football and men's basketball. McKinney has been involved with UW Athletics in some capacity since 1972. He was also inducted into the Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2015.
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