Wyoming’s Greatest Kicker: Cooper Rothe or Jerry DePoyster? [POLL]
Here's a topic many Pokes fans never thought would be debated: who is the best kicker to ever play at the University of Wyoming, Jerry DePoyster or Cooper Rothe?
Cooper Rothe was arguably the best kicker in college football this season. The junior was nearly perfect, connecting on 16 of 17 field goal attempts and all 28 extra points. His only miss came nearly a full calendar year after his last missed field goal, when the wind pushed his 43-yard attempt wide right November 30th versus San Jose.
Rothe became only the fourth kicker to be named Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Year and is one of three nominees for the Lou Groza Award honoring the nation's best kicker.
With another season left to play, Rothe has a legitimate chance to catch DePoyster on the list of all-time greats. But he still has a long way to go.
DePoyster was an All-American punter and kicker. In 1966, he became the first kicker to make three field goals over 50 yards in a single game. The record has since been matched, but never broken. By the end of his senior season, he held six NCAA records.
After college, DePoyster was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played in all 14 games as a rookie. Following the 1968 season, he left the game and volunteered for the Vietnam War. When his tour of duty was up two years later, he rejoined the NFL, playing another two years with the Oakland Raiders. In 2006, DePoyster was inducted into the Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame.
DePoyster and Aaron Elling are the only two Wyoming kickers to ever play in the NFL. Elling was a second-team All-Mountain West kicker in 2001 and was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Vikings where he spent parts of three seasons. He went on to play for the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens.
If Rothe can follow up his impressive junior season, there's a good chance he will follow DePoyster and Elling's path to the pros.