Wyoming’s Parker Christensen ‘Stepping Away’ From Football
LARAMIE -- Wyoming's tight end room just got a lot smaller.
Parker Christensen announced Wednesday via social media he will be "stepping away from the game" due to recent injuries and career goals. The day after the Cowboys appearance in the Arizona Bowl, Jackson Marcotte also publicized his decision to retire from football.
That leaves John Michael Gyllenborg, Nick Miles, Colin O'Brien, Isaac Schoenfeld and Treyton Welch as the remaining tight ends on the roster.
Christensen snagged 19 passes for 169 yards last fall. He also hauled in his first-career touchdown in a 33-16 home loss to San Jose State. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound tight end/ fullback hybrid caps his four-year tenure in Laramie with 34 receptions for 324 yards.
The Sheridan product missed the final game of the regular season at Fresno State with an undisclosed injury. That setback also forced him to sit out last week's bowl game in Tucson.
"It's with a heavy heart to say that due to career goals and recent injuries, I feel that it is in my best interest to step away from the game," Christensen penned on Twitter. "I want to thank my coaches, staff, family and Poke fans for giving a Wyoming boy a chance to live out his dream. To my teammates, I love you boys with everything I have and you all mean the world to me. I will cherish the time spent being a Cowboy for the rest of my life."
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Christensen was the No. 1 recruit in the state of Wyoming after rushing for 1,120 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns on the ground during his senior season at Sheridan High School. He also caught 20 passes for 315 yards and two more scores en route to being named the 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year, the 4A Offensive Player of the Year and Casper Star-Tribune Super 25 Team for all classifications.
Christensen was also recruited by Montana and Montana State.
Christensen said he has been accepted into chiropractic school in hopes of obtaining a doctorate degree.
"Thank you for everything, Wyoming," he continued. "It's been the best four years of my life. As always, Go Pokes."
Marcotte, a 6-foot-7, 263-pound senior from Mt. Carmel, Ill., caught three passes for 11 yards in 2022. He caps his five years on the high plains with 14 grabs for 156 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came during the 2019 campaign. During that season, the then redshirt freshman snagged a career-best nine passes for 127 yards.
A devastating knee injury against Utah State derailed a promising career on the field. Despite being told recovery could take more than two years, Marcotte was back in just over six months. He played in five of the six games during the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season. Before the season finale, doctors discovered he had torn additional ligaments in his knee.
"I thought a lot about my teammates and the fans during my rehab," Marcotte told gowyo.com. "I'm not from Wyoming, but I feel like I'm from Wyoming now. I wanted to be able to play for my teammates, for our fans and for this state because it is a really unique place. I always kept that in the back of my mind."
Marcotte, who is currently in law school at UW, battled his way back into the lineup in mid-October and appeared in eight games, including a victory over Kent State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
"I have given everything I have had to this program and it has given me the best moments, people, and memories in my life, but I have decided that it is best for me to step away from football and dedicate myself to other aspects of my life," Marcotte announced on Instagram last Saturday. "This place gave me more than I ever imagined, and for that, I am forever thankful. It always is and always will be, Go Pokes."
Marcotte was also recruited by Arkansas and Boston College.
Wyoming has lost eight players to the NCAA Transfer Portal this offseason: Wide receiver Joshua Cobbs, Cornerback Cam Stone, Defensive end Oluwaseyi Omotosho, wide receiver Tyrese Grant, cornerback Zaire Jackson, nickelback Keonte Glinton, defensive end Akili Bonner and running back Joey Braasch.
Titus Swen, who led the Cowboys in rushing and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark last fall, was dismissed for a "violation of team rules" after the regular-season finale. The junior briefly entered the portal before deciding to declare for the NFL Draft.
Craig Bohl and Co. inked 13 high school players during the NCAA's early signing period and brought in Northern Illinois transfer Harrison Waylee. The junior running back has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Bohl said the program could add a "couple more players" from the portal before it closes Jan. 18. Traditional signing day is also slated for Feb. 1.
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