Year 17 Preview: Meet the 2029-30 Pokes
Coach Luke returns as a man on a mission in his third Cowboys season.
Welcome to another Wyoming roster preview to supplement the series about Coach Luke’s journey for peace and happiness in NCAA Football 14. For any new readers, feel free to check out the about page of the site to read about this whole project and catch up on the past installments. This preview is meant to give you a closer look at the team since there are so many players to know on a fictional football team.
Wyoming football is starting to have a renaissance under Coach Luke. The team is closing the 2020 decade this season and it feels like the 2030’s will be their most promising decade of football since the 1960’s when the team went 70-27-4. This 2029 season is a key step in fulfilling that promise though.
The Cowboys have a roster that is very talented this year yet loaded with seniors about to graduate. These are not Coach Luke recruits but they’ve adapted to his ways. This team has a great shot at putting together a special season before thirteen starters graduate and open the door to the youngbloods.
Next year’s team will be a step down from this roster so the hope is that the Cowboys can win a conference championship this year and start building up their prestige to entice future recruits to the program.
Meet the Offense
We were led by a senior halfback and quarterback on offense last season. Those two graduated, but we’re now led by an entire unit of seniors at the skill positions with an entire group of underclassmen blocking for them.
This is the best offense we’ve had at Wyoming thus far in our three years. The offense rates at 91 overall and should be capable of putting up good numbers if the blocking holds. Let’s take a closer look at two very interesting senior players to get to know them before they try to win us a conference championship.
One Shot: QB Tyler Hall
The pride of Wyoming.
That’s a heavy weight to bear but it’s one that Tyler Hall is proud to carry. It’s not common for the starting QB at Wyoming to actually be a Wyoming native anymore. Growing up in the town of Rawlins, Tyler was one of only a couple hundred African Americans living there. He loved it though and was very involved in the local scene and a regular at the town’s demolition derby events. He was a high school sports star and had always dreamed of going to Laramie to continue to represent his state.
With Coach Luke at the helm, he has a chance to bring his state to the national stage and he’s beyond excited for the opportunity. The state is behind him and he wants to put on a show for them this year.
As a player, he represents a new style of quarterback for Coach Luke. Coach Luke has only had scrambling quarterbacks or balanced quarterbacks as the starters on his teams. Tyler is a true pocket passer and is content to sit back and let plays develop. That playstyle may end up either creating a new revelation for Coach Luke about how to run his offense or it may end up frustrating him to no end. The pocket passer experiment is one of the biggest football storylines of the season.
Tyler Hall’s performance will dictate the future of Wyoming football and the future coaching plans of Coach Luke. The burden is heavy but the kid is ready.
Double Rett: HB Garrett Everett
Wyoming’s previous coach set up a productive Florida pipeline that resulted in a few key players in recent years. Garrett Everett represents the latest star from that pipeline. In a controversial move, Coach Luke decided to redshirt Garrett prior to his senior year last year. The plan was that it would allow Garrett to be the star back this season instead of splitting carries last year. Garrett was a bit thrown off by the decision but ultimately bought in and is now a wisened senior leader of the team.
Much like his quarterback, Garrett’s playing style also creates a conundrum for Coach Luke. For one, he’s very short for a halfback at 5’8”. He is not a shifty and quick smaller halfback though. He is slow. He does have great vision and an elite ability at breaking tackles though. Coach Luke sent Garrett videos in the offseason of every game that legendary halfback Jerome Bettis played in his career. He told him to study up and try to emulate that play style this year.
The offense’s success will be contingent on whether this short, slow, slippery halfback can prove to be a lead back or not this year.
Meet The Defense
The defense is a step-up from previous Cowboys rosters as well. The defense has seven senior starters so there’s naturally a lot of mature talent here.
The defense rates at 87 overall and, like last year, doesn’t have any major holes but also lacks any superstars. We were introduced to two young Coach Luke recruits last year in FS Ahmad Benson and MLB Tavares McBride. Aside from those two young guns, it’s mostly seniors on this team.
For whatever reason, the team continues to play without a defensive coordinator so they lack any bonuses that would be given to them by having a great coordinator. Let’s hope the senior leadership helps make up for that issue.
The Composer: ROLB John Williams
Growing up on his family ranch in Montana, John Williams was never that interested in sports. He was interested in helping his family find a way to get by. As he grew up, he literally grew and grew in size though. Once it was clear that he was becoming a veritable giant at his high school, the football coach begged him to come out and play for them in his junior year. That coach felt that linebacker would be the easiest position to learn for this 6’5” beast. His physical gifts became quickly apparent as he started filling up the stat sheet and helping his team win a state championship.
Instead of returning to his family’s ranch, he chose to go to Wyoming to study Agriculture on a football scholarship. He mostly played special teams throughout his years on campus but is now finally getting his chance to start in his last year on the team.
He’s a strong tackler who is a cerebral athlete with high awareness. Coach Luke is hoping for some big plays and clutch interceptions out of the coverage linebacker in the coming year.
Don’t Call Him Terry: CB Terrance Crews
As with many of the Wyoming players already on the roster, Terrance Crews comes from a small farming town. He may not return to that farm life when his college career is over though as he is the player who has the best chance of translating his raw talents into an NFL roster spot.
Terrance has been on the phone with other Coach Luke’s former cornerback stars like Anthony Morris and Quentin Vaughn to learn from them about how to best display his talents in his schemes. He has elite awareness and coverage skills and is at his best when he is trying to track the ball and create turnovers.
It remains to be seen if he can be the next great Coach Luke cornerback and make the trip to the NFL but a great season this year will go a long way towards that.
Meet the Special Teams
We have three special teams specialists on the roster this year. Xavier Smith is our sophomore punter and is rated at 82 overall. Chris Nixon is our senior starting kicker who came to us out of junior college. He rates at 88 overall this year.
Reader Abby wrote a piece that goes into the background of our mysterious senior kicker. She runs a simulated NCAA basketball universe where she is the coach of the Western Illinois Leathernecks and this piece ties her universe into ours. You can follow her on Twitch and see her videos on YouTube.
When people talk of a Nixon getting into politics, they're probably thinking of the congressman and later president coming out of California. We're almost half a century removed from Richard's reign in the midst of the Cold War that toppled the Soviet empire. Now a couple of Nixons are attempting to put a dent in the NCAA's stronghold on college athletics.
Half-brothers and 3rd cousins 3 generations removed of Richard are stepping into politics: Chris Nixon of University of Wyoming Men's Football and Roderick Nixon of Western Illinois University Men's Basketball. The highly touted big-man Roderick started organizing a college players association after Chris' soccer career was derailed.
The Nixons were the briefly internet stars when in the California soccer championship game forward Chris scored a one-touch goal from outside the goal box with an assist from the goalie Roderick. Roderick's height meant he was also highly sought after by their school's basketball team. As the two split for college, Chris for Stanford soccer and Roderick for WIU basketball, they were already being scouted by professional clubs across the world.
Chris' lung condition wasn't caught until Stanford's sports medicine team ran their full physical. Instantly Chris Nixon was out of school. Roderick reached out to his Coach Abby of WIU, who picked up the phone to Coach Luke of Wyoming. Wyoming football needed a kicker no longer. Chris Nixon was back in the eyes of professional scouts after being hand-picked by Coach Luke. With Chris' future set forth for him, the Nixons are looking to form a college athlete's association to ensure students will be able to complete an education the instant the athlete makes an agreement with the school.
Our famous little Nixon will have one more ride with the Cowboys this year. After that, our kicker spot will be filled by a man currently redshirting this year, and that cowboy’s name is Yusef Outlaw.
Year 17 Overview
To get a more intimate look at the entire roster, you can check out the yearly roster spreadsheet here:
We are not playing Akron this year and only one team actually rates higher than us on our entire schedule. Nothing is given in any year but it certainly feels like this year may be a season with double-digit wins:
If the team takes care of business then I would not be surprised to see them end up as a ranked team at some point late in the season. I’m so excited to find out how this team looks on the field.
What Happened With Those Poet Laureates?
Coach Luke’s encounter with the Poet Laureates ended with him waking up in a field miles away and having to figure out a way to get back home. As he wandered for days, he became enraged as he kept thinking about that night with Gene and the other Poet Laureates.
After they surprised him with an intervention that night, Gene told Coach Luke about the Poet Laureates’ insanely profitable black market poems that they sell to the wealthy citizens throughout Wyoming. The poems are dark and twisted as they touch upon the existential crisis of being alive in Wyoming. The only time that the Poet Laureates weren’t able to sell their black market poems was when Josh Allen was leading the Wyoming Cowboys to winning football seasons. Instead of seeking dark poetry, Wyoming citizens were happy for once. The Poet Laureates, obsessed with money and selling their profitable poems, vowed to never let the football team be good again.
From that point forward, things changed with Wyoming football. Potential star recruits suddenly had a change of heart after going missing for days during a recruiting trip to the school. Refs suddenly started calling more penalties on the Cowboys in home games. Wyoming coaches conveniently started making bad play calls at key times before they would drive home in their brand new sports cars. The Poet Laureates created a dark system that led to bad football and, as a result, their poems were selling better than ever.
Then Coach Luke arrived.
They couldn’t stop his arrival, and they didn’t know what to do when he showed up. They chose to befriend him to find out his weaknesses. They soon found out that he wouldn’t be able to be bought off like past coaches and that he was clever enough to bring in star recruits without letting them get kidnapped by poets. Hell, he was a good enough coach to overcome a few bad penalties in games too.
They decided the only thing they could do was tell him the truth and try to scare him out of Wyoming.
After that fateful conversation at the ranch, they threatened many parts of Luke’s livelihood and broke him down with their mind games and dark poetic words. Their hired strongman then grabbed then Luke, threw a mask on him, drove him off, and dropped him in a field in the middle of nowhere.
The Poets thought they won. They thought they rattled him enough. Coach Luke had looked at them before being taken off and promised them that he’d start losing this year and get out of town after that.
They didn’t realize Coach Luke is a man with nothing to lose. The threats were meaningless to him. As he walked back to civilization, he thought about how he was more determined than ever to win at Wyoming and to eliminate the Poet Laureates from power.
He realized he’d need some help, so he made a call to the one person that he felt could help him save Wyoming.
Twitch stream on Friday at 8 PM EST!
We’re back in business! After a nice little break, the Twitch shenanigans are here again. I’ll still be streaming on Friday and Tuesday nights again, and we’ll watch this season unfold over two evening Twitch streams. Here is a link to my Twitch channel.
I’m looking forward to getting back out there with y’all and seeing if our senior-heavy Cowboys can do something special!