Glenn keeping close eye on Cowboy kickers
LARAMIE, Wyo. -- As Wyoming's place-kickers, holders and snappers prepared for their allotted 15 minutes of practice on Wednesday, head coach Joe Glenn let out a warning.
"We're not gonna kick the center in the butt this year," Glenn yelled. "I took enough (grief) for that this summer. Lift! Get under the ball. Get the ball in the air."
Not a minute later, Drew Larson, the freshman recruit who will be allowed to challenge sophomores Deric Yaussi and Scott Parker for the starting job, lined a kick into the backside of center James Pecosky.
"I think, Drew, he probably swallowed the apple a little bit," Glenn said following the Cowboys' first practice of fall camp on a beautiful sunny and warm day. "He didn't have a good day."
Larson, who made nine of 11 field goals and 38 of 41 point-after kicks last season while earning team most valuable player honors at Laguna Hills High in Mission Viejo, Calif., struggled throughout his Cowboys' debut.
Although a few of his attempts split the uprights, Larson's kicks were mostly on a line rather than high in the air.
"Drew, your head is not down," Glenn told him after Larson lined a kick wide of the goal posts. A moment later, after Larson made another poor kick, Glenn yelled, "You're lookin' up."
Despite Larson's struggles, Glenn remains confident that the young kicker will find his stride.
"You can't judge a book by its cover in one day," the coach said. "He'll be there."
Yaussi, who holds a slight edge over Parker in the battle for the starting assignment, lifted the ball on most -- if not all -- of his kicks.
Parker also displayed improved form, although his accuracy didn't appear as sharp as Yaussi's.
"I was real happy with our veteran kickers," Glenn said. "They came back and picked up right where they left off in the spring, and I felt good about (them) in the spring."
Last season, Parker raised the ire of former head coach Vic Koenning -- and elicited chuckles from the crowd -- when one of his kicks hit center David Gough in the hindquarters. To this day, UW fans get a good laugh while recalling the moment.
--'SUPER' START: Cornerbacks Terrell Vinson and Derrick Martin, a pair of incoming freshmen who are expected to challenge for immediate playing time, each caught Glenn's eye by making what he called "super plays."
"I'm not gonna sit here and tell you they're gonna be starters, but I will tell you that someday they're gonna play a lot of football for Wyoming," Glenn said. "And I'm sure they're capable of helping our team right now."
In a 7-on-7 drill, Vinson intercepted a tipped pass and ran into the end zone for a touchdown. Glenn was standing nearby and cheered loudly.
Martin intercepted a pass during a 1-on-1 drill, outjumping the receiver for the football.
--INJURY REPORT: Junior transfer LB Randy Tscharner (cut on head) missed Wednesday's practice. He was recently injured while diving into a lake. ... Sophomore P Adam Brooks, projected as the backup to Luke Donovan, twisted his ankle midway through practice but the injury is not believed to be serious.
--ALSO: In the team huddle following practice, Glenn urged UW's players to encourage their teammates and to listen to instruction from coaches. "We've got to believe in each other," he said. Glenn also noted that the coaching staff has a combined 25 national championship rings and has compiled a 110-25 record over the past 10 seasons. ... Glenn parked his four-wheel drive vehicle near the gate of the practice fields and blared the school's fight song, "Ragtime Cowboy Joe," as the players left the field. Several players couldn't help but smile; others even sang a line or two. ... Of the 105 players who reported to camp, 46 were returning lettermen (22 on offense, 21 on defense, three on special teams). ... Glenn praised UW strength and conditioning coaches Scott Bennett and Tim Socha for helping the players through summer workouts. "They lathered 'em up pretty good," Glenn said. "They said, 'Here, coach, you got a team that's in shape and ready to go.' I feel real good about where we're at, physically." ... The Pokes' first of 29 scheduled practices lasted nearly three hours. UW had 10 a.m. workouts slated for Thursday and Friday. Two-a-day practices begin Monday.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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