Pokes notes: Defensive line dominated first week of Wyoming fall camp

LARAMIE – The defensive line walked the walk during the first week of fall camp.
Wyoming is expected to have one of the best units in the Mountain West with nose tackle Cole Godbout, defensive tackle Jordan Bertagnole, and defensive ends DeVonne Harris and Braden Siders all returning.
Through three practices the front four was dominating, according to head coach Craig Bohl.
"Probably not a surprise to anyone," Bohl said after Friday's practice. "I think we’re really strong on the defensive line. We had great push up front today and we’ve got good depth at that spot."
Sabastian Harsh did not practice Friday due to soreness in his surgically repaired knee. A year ago, the dynamic defensive end was being projected as a starter before suffering a season-ending injury right before the opener at Illinois.
"We don’t think it’s anything serious, but we’re going to take a deep dive into that," Bohl said of Harsh's knee. "I thought our defensive line, particularly the inside guys, were really impressive today."
Bertagnole and Harris were voted to the all-MW first team. Siders, who was named to some freshman all-American teams last season, and Godbout, who would probably be in an NFL training camp if he hadn't suffered a foot injury in the middle of the 2022 campaign, could be all-conference players at the end of the season.
The experience and talent on the defensive line has made life difficult for their counterparts on the other side of the line of scrimmage, which will help prepare the revamped offensive line for the opener against Texas Tech at War Memorial Stadium (5:30 p.m., CBS).
"I think he (Godbout) is in a really good place right now,” Bohl said. "That group, when we look at the physical composition of how they’ve changed their bodies during the course of the summer, along with the linebackers, they had the most impressive gains. Beyond Cole, Bertagnole is 290 (pounds) and moving well. Gavin Meyer is back. We’re looking for the fourth (interior defensive lineman) right now. Ben Florentine is doing some good things. Jaden Williams is doing some good things. ...
"We’re developing more depth at that spot and if we’re strong in the heart (of the defense) I think we have a chance to make a big impact."
New playmakers at WR, CB
Bohl continues to be impressed with the impact transfer wide receivers Devin Boddie Jr. (Vanderbilt) and Ayir Asante (Holy Cross) are making.
There is a lot of pressure on quarterback Andrew Peasley to play at a higher level this fall and the speed and ability to separate from defenders Boddie and Asante add could make that easier.
"Both of them are going to add really good value for us," Bohl said. "We need to have more productivity on the outside, so I was pleased with that."
Bohl said the play at quarterback has been a "mixed bag," but there has been an emphasis on throwing the ball down field.
The pass rush from the defense coupled with improved play at cornerback with the emergence of Kolbey Taylor is a factor in making practices difficult for Peasley and backup Evan Svoboda.
"The other guy who’s been really consistent is Kolbey Taylor," Bohl said. "He’s been very consistent."
More RB depth
Dawaiian McNeely is currently on pace to be UW's starting running back against the Red Raiders with Harrison Waylee and D.Q. James still making their way back from knee surgeries.
The Cowboys quietly added Jamari Ferrell, a Saddleback Community College transfer, to the roster. Tight end Colin O'Brien, who also played at the junior college program in Mission Viejo, California, tipped the staff off to the 5-foot-8, 190-pound junior.
"While we felt good about where we were at with the running back position, we began to scour for more depth," Bohl said. "What really helped us was Colin O’Brien knew him. When you take a junior-college guy, there are great finds out there, but you also have to look at what type of character does he have and is he going to mesh with Wyoming. Our culture here is such now that if you’re not in tune, you’re going to stick out.
"(Farrell) has been a pleasant surprise and we’re pleased to have him. I’m also encouraged by Harrison Waylee. He’s out there coaching, and I mean really coaching. He’s really into the practices."

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