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(Laramie, Wyo.) –  In the first year of the early signing period for NCAA Division I football programs, the Wyoming Cowboys struck it rich with a class of 20 signees.  Head coach Craig Bohl’s coaching staff implemented an aggressive recruiting plan leading up to the first day of the early signing period on Wednesday, Dec. 20, and they cashed in on that plan by bringing in a talented group of new Cowboys.

Included in the group of  signees is Gunnar Gentry, the younger brother of former Cowboy great Tanner Gentry, who is now with the Chicago Bears. Gunnar and Tanner are the nephews of Lander resident Mandy Fabel.

“It’s so good to have another nephew wearing a University of Wyoming uniform,” Fabel said this week. “And I’m glad to see another Gentry wide receiver back on the field for Wyoming.”

“We’re already excited about the upcoming season, we’ll be going to all the games,” said Mandy’s husband Brian, the executive director of the Lander Chamber of Commerce.

Coach Bohl on recruiting

        “We want to welcome this group of young men into our program here at the University of Wyoming,” said Bohl.  “Signing Day is an exciting time for all these young men and their families, and we are just as excited as coaches to know that they have chosen to be part of our program.

        “This was a new process for all coaching staffs across the country.  We chose to pursue an ambitious recruiting plan to identify early those young men we felt best fit into our Wyoming recruiting profile.  We worked extremely hard to build relationships with those young men and their families to the point where they wanted to commit to us now rather than later in the February signing process.

        “I want to give credit where credit is due.  Gordie Haug (Director of Recruiting) and our entire staff have done an amazing job of putting this class together.

        “A few of will join us in January when they enroll early at Wyoming.  Others will join us next summer.

        “We can’t wait to begin working with them to achieve our goal of winning a Mountain West Conference championship.”

Signing Day “on-the-road”

        Wyoming’s signing day took place while the Cowboys were in Boise, Idaho, preparing for their appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  The Cowboys raced to a 37-14 win over Central Michigan, forcing a school and bowl record 8 takeaways during the game. The next football signing period will begin on Feb. 7, 2018, and will end on April 1.

        Among the individuals who signed national letters of intent with Wyoming on Wednesday, Dec. 20 were:

        •The No. 1 ranked recruit in the state of Wyoming, Blayne Baker an offensive lineman from three-time state champion Sheridan, Wyo., committed to the Cowboys.

        •Wyoming signed four of the Top 20 ranked recruits in the state of Colorado by 247 Sports.  Chad Muma was ranked No. 9.  Gunner Gentry was ranked No. 11.  Cameron Murray was No. 14, and Zach Watts was ranked No. 20.

        •The No. 17 ranked recruit by 247 Sports from the state of Oregon — Reow Jackson, who is listed as an Athlete.

        •The No. 5 ranked long snapper in the nation in Jesse Hooper from Draper, Utah.

        •Four Wyoming signees were rated as three-star recruits by 247 Sports.  Those four were: Sean Chambers (QB), Reow Jackson (Athlete), Chad Muma (LB) and Miles Williams (DB).

        •Two of the Top 60 ranked recruits by 247 Sports from the state of Illinois.  Jackson Marcotte (TE) was ranked the No. 55 recruit in Illinois, and Camron Donatlan (WR) was ranked No. 59.

        •The other Wyoming native to sign with the Cowboys was Frank Crum of Laramie.  He is the third generation of his family to play football for Wyoming.  His father, Gary, and grandfather, Earl, were also Cowboys.

        •In addition to Crum, three other members of the 2018 signing class have family ties to Wyoming.  Gunner Gentry is the younger brother of former Wyoming Cowboy wide receiver Tanner Gentry.  Chad Muma’s father Ty Muma played for the Pokes in the early 90s, and Leevi Lafaele is the cousin of current Wyoming Cowboy Ryan Gatoloai-Faupula.

Position Breakdown

        Wyoming signed eight student-athletes on offense, including three offensive linemen, two wide receivers, one quarterback, one running back and one tight end.

        The defensive group consists of 10 players: three defensive linemen, three linebackers and four defensive backs.

        The Cowboys also signed one signee described as an athlete and one long snapper.

State-by-State Breakdown

        A state-by-state breakdown of the class has the state of California leading the way with nine signees.  Next was the state of Colorado with four commitments.  The states of Wyoming and Illinois each had two individuals sign with the Pokes.  One individual from the states of Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin completed the 2018 early signing class for the Pokes. 

Gentry’s bio sketch

Gunner Gentry                         WR       6-3        200       Fr.              Aurora, Colo. (Grandview)

        Gunner Gentry is listed as a three-star recruit and the No. 11 recruit in the state of Colorado according to 247 Sports. He was named to the 2017 CHSAA 5A All-State First Team. He helped lead Grandview to the CHSAA 5A State semifinals his senior season.  Grandview defeated No. 1 seed Valor Christian in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Pomona in the semis.  During his career at Grandview High School, Gentry amassed 81 catches for 1,314 yards and 19 touchdowns. During his junior season, Gentry averaged 17.9 yards per catch, totaling 823 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns en route to 5A All-State Second Team honors. He was also named to the 2016 All-Mount Massive First Team by the Aurora Sentinel. Gentry had a number of big games during his junior year, including a nine-catch, 119-yard effort in a 50-49 win against Murrieta Valley of California. In a 55-0 win vs. Boulder that season, Gentry caught four passes for 120 yards, all touchdowns. Gentry helped Grandview to a 10-3 overall record and captured the Mt. Massive Conference title with a 5-0 conference mark.  Class 5A is the largest classification in Colorado.  The Wolves were 10-2 in 2016, advancing to the CHSAA 5A state quarterfinal. Gentry played for coach John Schultz at Grandview.  Gentry also plays basketball at Grandview.  He is the younger brother of former Wyoming Cowboy and current Chicago Bears wide receiver Tanner Gentry.

University of Wyoming Cowboys

2018 Football Early Signing Class

(Alphabetical, As of Dec. 20, 2017)

 Breakdown:

High-School Signees (20)

Name                                Pos.             Ht.          Wt.         Class       Hometown (Last School)                 

Blayne Baker                     OL               6-5          260         Fr.            Sheridan, Wyo. (Sheridan)

Jevon Bigelow                  RB               6-2          195         Fr.            Fresno, Calif. (Central)

Dauson Booker                 DB               6-0          190         Fr.            Modesto, Calif. (Central Catholic)

De’Vaughn Brown           DE               6-3          220         Fr.            Antioch, Calif. (Ygnacio Valley)

Solomon Byrd                   DE               6-4          220         Fr.            Palmdale, Calif. (William J.P. Knight)

Sean Chambers                 QB               6-3          215         Fr.            Kerman, Calif. (Kerman)

Frank Crum                       OL               6-7          260         Fr.            Laramie, Wyo. (Laramie)

Camron Donatlan             WR              6-2          200         Fr.            Aurora, Ill. (West Aurora)

Gunner Gentry                 WR              6-3          200         Fr.            Aurora, Colo. (Grandview)

Cole Godbout                   DT               6-4          250         Fr.            Hudson, Wis. (Hudson)

Charles Hicks                     LB                6-3          220         Fr.            San Diego, Calif. (Lincoln)

Jesse Hooper                     LS                5-11        230         Fr.            Draper, Utah (Summit Academy)

Reow Jackson                    ATH             6-2          200         Fr.            Eugene, Ore. (Marist Catholic)

Leevi Lafaele                      LB                6-2          220         Fr.            Sacramento, Calif. (Inderkum)

Jackson Marcotte              TE                6-7          250         Fr.            Mt. Carmel, Ill. (Mt. Carmel)

Chad Muma                      LB                6-3          200         Fr.            Lone Tree, Colo. (Legend)

Cameron Murray              DB               6-1          175         Fr.            Aurora, Colo. (Overland)

Zach Watts                        OL               6-5          280         Fr.            Windsor, Colo. (Windsor)

Rome Weber                     DB               5-11        175         Fr.            San Bernardino, Calif. (Cajon)

Miles Williams                   DB               6-1          175         Fr.            Oxnard, Calif. (Pacifica)