Where’s the cornerback depth?
LARAMIE -- Guys not named Azizi Hearn and CJ Coldon combined for just three tackles from the cornerback spot a season ago.
Those guys are Cameron Stone and Xavier Carter, a pair of true freshmen, who saw limited action against UNLV and New Mexico during a COVID-19 shortened six-game schedule in 2020.
The two guys in the first sentence, well, they were stalwarts on the outside for first-year position coach Benny Boyd.
Coldon registered 26 tackles, batted away three passes and picked off two more. Hearn finished with a dozen tackles and broke up four attempts. He also appeared to snag his first-career interception in Wyoming's season-opening overtime loss at Nevada. Instead, it was called an incomplete pass.
There's little doubt who will start at the corner position for the Cowboys this fall. The question is, where is the depth?
That has been an issue that has plagued this unit since 2019.
"We certainly need to develop some depth," Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said. "It's great to have CJ and Azizi back. Those guys played a lot this last year. It's a little bit unusual to have two guys be able to play the whole year. You know, typically, somebody unfortunately does get injured."
MORE WYOMING FOOTBALL NEWS:
* BREAKING: UW football recruit fatally shot in Dallas
* Bohl makes ' easy decision,' puts placekicker on scholarship
* PODCAST: Ben Wisdorf talks 'championship or bust' for Pokes
* You can't question Levi Williams' toughness
Coldon knows that feeling all too well.
In 2018, then a freshman, the Belleville, Illinois product was injured in a Week-3 road loss to Missouri while attempting to tackle current Denver Broncos tight end, Albert Okwuegbunam. Coldon suffered an injured nerve in his neck that would cost him the rest of the season.
The following year, a season-ending knee injury against Idaho would sideline the sophomore for the remaining 10 games, including the Cowboys 38-17 victory over Georgia State in the Arizona Bowl.
Hearn, meanwhile, has played in 18-of-19 games since transferring from the University of Arizona before the 2019 season. He has 49 tackles and eight pass breakups to his name in a Cowboys uniform.
Wyoming has just eight cornerbacks currently listed on its roster. Aside from Hearn and Coldon, the other six have exactly zero combined starts. Aside from Stone and Carter, only Caleb Roberson saw limited action on special teams.
So did Taylor Dodd. He is no longer listed on the official roster. Neither is Trae King or Max Mazurie.
Kolbey Taylor, an incoming freshman from Texas, is scheduled to be here in the fall. The only recruit from the Cowboys latest class taking part in spring camp is Zaire Jackson, a corner from Valor Christian in Parker, Colorado. Mathew Posas, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound redshirt freshman, is the only other corner currently listed.
So, what's the plan?
"We're looking at a grouping of guys to develop," Bohl said. "I think it's going to be hard for any of those guys to dislodge those two starters. They both played well last year and they've had good springs thus far."
Any chance the Cowboys look to the ever-popular transfer portal for help? That's how they found Hearn.
"I would say that would be doubtful, but never say never," Bohl said. "It's just not been our MO ... I can tell you that we're not actively sorting through guys right now."
EXPLORE: The 10 Smallest Towns in Wyoming