LARAMIE -- Craig Bohl has told the story a half-dozen times.

All he knew about his new freshman walk-on kicker was that his name was John, and for some odd reason, he wore a red shoe on his right foot. And Bohl, as he's been known to boast, also serves as UW's kicking coach.

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It wouldn't take long for all of us to know who John Hoyland was.

Forced into a starting role in the season opener in Reno due to an injury sustained by redshirt freshman Luke Glassock, Hoyland went 4-for-4 on the night, including a 42-yarder to sent the game into overtime. Wyoming eventually fell 37-34 in that extra frame, but one major question was answered -- The Cowboys had found their replacement for the school's all-time leading scorer, Cooper Rothe.

 

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This offseason, in true old-school Bohl fashion, there wasn't a press release or a fun video from the school showing the head coach surprising the Colorado native with a scholarship. Instead, it just happened.

Thursday, Bohl confirmed that decision.

It was an easy one.

"Well, you know, it really was, meaning from the first game against Nevada, even though we didn't win, I thought he made several pressurized kicks," Bohl said. "And you know, sometimes when you're here working in the elements, he really did a great job."

Hoyland was named the Mountain West Player Special Teams Player of the Week for that effort inside Mackay Stadium. Seven weeks later, he earned another title -- Freshman All-American.

Hoyland was one of 32 players around the nation to garner that recognition. He was one of only 17 that was actually a true freshman.

 

His numbers made him a well-deserving selection:

* No. 1 in the nation in field goals made per game (2.17)

* No. 1 in the conference with just one miss all season

* No. 6 in the country in field-goal percentage (92.9)

* No. 19 in FBS and No. 1 in the MWC in points-per-game average (9.2)

* No. 5 in the league -- among all players -- in points-responsible for (55)

* Made 13-of-14 kicks, including all 16 extra points

Hoyland became the seventh Cowboy in program history to earn Freshman All-American honors, joining Solomon Byrd (2019), Keegan Cryder (2018), Logan Wilson (2016), Andrew Wingard (2015), Blair Burns (2011) and Shamiel Gary (2009).

After receiving that honor, the laidback, unassuming placekicker dropped this gem.

"Coach says kick the ball and I kick it."

Bohl was pretty nonchalant Thursday, too.

"You know, those three points really matter," Bohl said before attempting to rattle off some of Hoyland's laundry list of statistics. "... He was outstanding. So, we put him on scholarship."

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