Former Wyoming Cowboys Will Take Their Shot at the Pros
Seven former University of Wyoming football players received free-agent offers from five professional teams over the weekend, as they try to pursue their dream of playing at the next level.
While no Cowboys were selected in the annual NFL Draft, which concluded Saturday, the seven will get a chance to catch on with the teams through free agency. The group includes former standouts Luke Anderson, Nick Carlson, Korey Jones, Josh Leonard, Kyle Magnuson, Mike Purcell and Kurt Taufa`asau.
The Oakland Raiders took a shine to UW, signing Leonard, Magnuson and Taufa`asau. Carlson inked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Purcell signed with the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers and Jones will join the Arizona Cardinals. Anderson was invited to a free-agent camp with the Washington Redskins.
Carlson, an offensive center, and Purcell, a defensive tackle, each were First Team All-Mountain West selections this season. Carlson was selected to both the 2012 and 2011 Rimington Trophy Watch Lists, honoring the nation's top center. He was also named to the 2012 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, honoring the nation's top Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) lineman. Purcell ranked No. 1 among all MW defensive linemen in tackles, averaging 6.9 tackles per game, and ranked No. 3 among all MW defensive linemen in solo tackles, with 36.
Jones, a 12-game starter at linebacker, was second on UW last season with 103 tackles and one forced fumble, while defensive tackle Taufa`asau had 22 tackles and two pass breakups in seven games in 2012. Anderson, a safety, had 49 stops and one pass breakup in 11 games.
Offensive tackles Leonard and Magnuson started in 12 and 11 games, respectively, this season, helping the UW offense average 391 yards of total offense per game.