A third tight end is drawing attention this spring
LARAMIE -- While much of the spring hype has surrounded Treyton Welch and Parker Christensen -- and rightfully so -- there is another tight end who has caught head coach Craig Bohl's eye during camp.
"We certainly think he can be a factor," Bohl said of Colin O'Brien, a 2020 transfer from Saddleback College. "He's a tall, angular guy that has good movement."
O'Brien, a 6-foot-6, 238-pound sophomore, was on the squad during last fall's COVID-19-shortened season, arriving on campus last January. Bohl said O'Brien was behind the rest of the tight end group last year in terms of mastering the playbook. Now, under first-year offensive coordinator Tim Polasek, O'Brien's focus has shifted to other important aspects of playing the position.
"He's going to have to get a little bit stronger," Bohl said. "He's having his presence shown during the course of spring. He's not arrived yet."
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247sports ranked O'Brien as the No. 6 junior college tight end in the nation after his one season in Mission Viejo, California, which also happens to be located in his hometown. The former three-star recruit helped lead the Gauchos to a 9-2 record in 2019. In eight games, O'Brien snagged 11 passes for 110 yards.
Boise State took notice of O'Brien's potential. So did UMass.
O'Brien not only lettered in football at Mission Viejo High School, he was also a star volleyball player.
Wyoming currently has six tight ends on its roster, including Jackson Marcotte, who has not practiced this spring as he recovers from an injury. Nate Weinman, who caught four passes for 49 yards in 2020, decided to retire this offseason.
The Cowboys are expected to involve the tight end position more this upcoming season than in year's past. Bohl said the program hasn't had a "dominant" pass-catcher at that spot since Jacob Hollister was hauling in passes from Josh Allen during the 2016 campaign.
Bohl insinuated Welch could be that guy.
But in his offense, it takes more than one.
"He certainly has potential," Bohl said of O'Brien. "So, we're going to keep on feeding him with a firehose."