With two seniors gone and two veterans out this spring, a group of young defensive ends is looking to make a splash with Wyoming Football.

AJ Cooper is in his sixth season with the Cowboy football coaching staff. The defensive ends coach is dealing with a new group this spring, as UW looks to replace some key top-line players from last season, while two vets are in player-coach roles in recovery after off-season surgery. In addition, Cooper is the special teams’ coordinator and has an added responsibility as the “defensive run game coordinator,” a title Coach Bohl elevated Coach Cooper to in the off-season.

Gone are Carl Granderson and Kevin Prosser, who combined for 53 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 10.5 tackles for loss. They also totaled four pass breakups, an interception (returned for a TD by Granderson), a forced fumble, and three QB hurries.

Out this spring is senior Josiah Hall and junior Garrett Crall. It was Crall that led the Pokes with 4.5 sacks last season. He finished with 38 total tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. Hall was limited to nine games last season. He had eight tackles and two tackles for loss.

This spring, enter a new era with fresh names for Wyoming fans to learn. Sophomore Davon Wells-Ross and four redshirt freshmen are taking the reps and trying to earn their way onto the playing field.

Coach Cooper sat down with KOWB’s David Settle for an extended conversation about starting over with the new group of defensive ends. They talked about how spring practice is going, players like Well-Ross and Solomon Byrd, who are trying to step into bigger roles, the part the two injured veterans (Crall and Hall) play, and adding to his coaching mantle with the “Defensive Run Game Coordinator” title.

The Cowboys will finish up Spring Practice on April 27 with the annual Spring Game in Laramie.