Transfers Ayir Asante, Devin Boddie bolster Wyoming wide receiver competition

LARAMIE – Yes, they did the research.
The first step for Ayir Asante and Devin Boddie Jr. was finding Laramie on a map.
Already aware of Buffalo Bills superstar Josh Allen’s humble beginnings at Wyoming, the duo also googled the Cowboys to learn more about Craig Bohl’s program and the Mountain West.
The transfer wide receivers – looking for a step up in competition in the case of Asante, a standout for Holy Cross at the FCS level, and for a leading role in the case of Boddie, who played sparingly in the SEC for Vanderbilt – weren’t completely sold when contacted by UW coaches upon entering the portal.
The Pokes ranked 125th out of 131 FBS teams in passing yards (132.2 per game) in 2022. Starting quarterback Andrew Peasley completed just 52.4% of his pass attempts with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Leading wide receiver Joshua Cobbs transferred after catching 35 passes for 407 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games as WR1.
“At first it was not attractive because I’m trying to produce more,” said Asante, who had 1,718 career receiving yards and 16 touchdowns while helping the Crusaders to three consecutive Patriot League championships. “But you look into why stuff is happening, and you had a first-year quarterback coming out of the transfer portal. Peasley was coming from Utah State and a completely different offense. I understand how it is trying to learn a new offense and trying to grasp it and make it your own. I can only imagine at the quarterback position it has to be 10 times harder.”
Boddie, who grew up in Memphis before catching 32 passes for 324 yards and one touchdown during his career for the Commodores in Nashville, was intrigued by the adventure of moving west.
“When I went into the portal, I was just looking for opportunities,” Boddie said. “Luckily, Wyoming came into the picture. We scheduled a visit, I came and visited, fell in love with the facilities, fell in love with the coaching staff, the culture, and I love the city, too.
“Since then, I’ve just been, ‘Go Cowboys.’”
After completing the research project, Asante and Boddie realized the 2023 Cowboys have a potential championship defense led by preseason MW defensive player of the year Easton Gibbs, a potentially elite special teams with the return of all-American candidate John Hoyland and expect to have a strong running game per usual.
Bohl didn’t promise the newcomers 100 targets or even a starting spot, but the head coach wants a balanced offense and more explosive plays in the passing game.
“When you have a great run game it’s hard to go away from it when you’re winning and running through everyone,” Asante said. “The pass game, you can throw interceptions and all that type of stuff. Coach Bohl made it apparent that he understood to win the Mountain West, to go where we want to go, you have to have that pass game, you have to have balance.
“He told me, ‘We’re not going to be a passing team but we’re going to try to be balanced.’”
Mike Grant – a longtime Bohl assistant who holds the titles associate head coach, offensive passing coordinator and wide receivers coach – said there is an emphasis on making UW’s weakest link a strength during fall camp.
“We’ve been doing a little bit more,” Grant said of the passing game. “Our job is really trying to make sure that we’re in the right places, so the quarterback is seeing the same thing. We want it to be like shooting hoops for (Peasley), so we have to make sure we are in our spot, regardless of what the defense is doing. That’s what we’re really trying to put an emphasis on this camp.”
Peasley is healthy and more comfortable with the offense in his second and final season with the Pokes. The super senior worked with Asante and Boddie throughout the summer trying to get the dynamic new targets comfortable with the playbook.
“Both of them are very good, they have some speed,” Peasley said.
Asante averaged 21.8 yards per reception with five touchdowns last season. Boddie, who was limited to two games due to injury in 2022, averaged 20.3 yards on three catches and also flashed his burst with a 61-yard reception against Mississippi State in 2021.
The marriage between two motivated transfer receivers and a struggling passing game looking to be more productive is one of the key storylines during UW’s fall camp.
“I was cautiously optimistic about what they would add,” Bohl said after getting a good look at Asante and Boddie during Wednesday’s practice. “Both of them are intelligent, and that’s encouraging because they’ll be able to translate that intelligence into more execution with the playbook. However, our playbook is pretty complex and there’s going to be more that we add.
“But my initial assessment was that I was really encouraged because it’s not like they’re going to need to just take elementary steps. I’m not saying we’re going to feed them with the firehose, but we’re going to take a hard look at them.”
Despite targeting Asante and Boddie in the portal as potential game-changers for the passing game, Bohl insisted that both transfers remained at their respective schools to finish their undergraduate degrees in the spring.
Asante graduated with a degree in psychology from Holy Cross and Boddie graduated with a degree in medicine, health and society from Vanderbilt.
“That was really important to me, and Coach Bohl stressed that a lot when I came out to visit here,” Asante said. “Holy Cross is a wonderful school, really prestigious, so it meant a lot for me to get my degree. And transferring, sometimes the credits don’t always transfer the right way.”
Asante would like to graduate to the NFL after using his extra year of eligibility at UW this season. After growing up in Franklin Township, New Jersey, and spending the past four years in Worcester, Massachusetts, the fifth-year senior plans to elevate his status with scouts at 7,220 feet.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot different than New Jersey,” Asante said. “But I’ve been committed since February, and I’ve had some time to understand. I came out here for the spring game, stayed with big Frank Crum and he really helped me out. It’s been really easy when you have a great group of guys like that where they take you in and it’s almost like family in the meeting room.”
Asante said veteran receivers like Wyatt Wieland, Ryan Marquez and Gunner Gentry have been welcoming and helpful in sharing their knowledge of the system, even though he is competing with them for playing time.
Boddie has two years of eligibility remaining to enjoy his new football life in Laradise. He also has been urgently mastering the playbook in meetings and after hours with Asante, his new roommate.
“Nashville and Laramie are similar in a way. Now Memphis is the complete opposite,” Boddie said of adjusting to a different part of the country. “But the main thing I would say is I’m going to have to get me a good cowboy hat, get me some boots and some jeans, get me a nice little shirt and I’ll be good.”
This is not the first rodeo for Pokes fans when it comes to hearing talk about an improved passing game in the summer, only to be disappointed by a conservative, one-dimensional offense in the fall.
Asante and Boddie are here to finally help make change happen and help Peasley to bring playmaking back to the quarterback position for the first time since Allen’s final season in 2017.
“There’s a lot of talk about the passing game needs improvement here and there and we need to throw the ball. Let’s do it then,” Boddie said. “I feel like if I come in and help with that, it’s going to make me feel good.
“That’s the thing I love is the doubt and then you prove them wrong. Then it’s like, ‘Look at the passing game at Wyoming, oh wow.’ I’m excited for that, I can’t wait.”

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