LARAMIE -- Alex Conn isn't permitted to speak with the media this offseason.

Only returning players and graduate transfers have that option.

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The 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman is neither of those, but that doesn't mean his teammates and coaches can't share thoughts about the junior, who could very well be among Wyoming's starting front five this fall.

"He's got what it takes to play big time Division-I football," guard Jack Walsh said.

Nebraska thought so, too.

 

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Conn committed to the Huskers in 2020 out of Derby High School in his native Kansas. After a redshirt season the following fall, the former three-star prospect again didn't see the field in Lincoln.

It was time to move on.

Conn transferred to Iowa Western Community College where he helped lead the Reivers to a second consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship last season.

In-state programs like Kansas and Kansas State offered Conn out of high school. It's easy to see why. After leading Derby to back-to-back undefeated 6A state titles, he was ranked the No. 6 recruit in the state. 247sports also named him one of the nation's top 60 offensive tackles.

Fellow Big XII members Oklahoma State, TCU and Iowa State also came calling. So did Arizona.

Jay Sawvel said he can see why.

"Yeah, I mean, I think he moves well for a guy his size," the Cowboys' rookie head coach said. "I think that's the thing that maybe surprised us the most. That and the fact when we did squat max-out day, he got in it and was competitive. That's a hard day. It's easy to get to a point where you go, I'm kind of good. It's hard when you keep going in that. There are certainly flashes of that."

With former left tackle Frank Crum preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft and his opposite, Caden Barnett, still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Wyoming's staff is in search of an anchor to look after Evan Svoboda's blind side.

Could that be Conn?

No one is showing their hand quite yet.

"He's got some things that we can't coach," said offensive line coach Joe Tripodi. "He's really long and has long arms. You know, he's a kid who wants to be good, so his attention to detail, I've been pleased with. We have a long way to go, but I'm happy he's
here."

So is Nofoafia Tulafono.

"He's a very hard worker and he's willing to learn," Wyoming's starting center said. "For him, he's just fighting for that spot. What I see from him, he's pretty good. He's a strong kid."

Luke Sandy, Wes King and Rex Johnsen could be options at left tackle. Sawvel said Walsh could also be a candidate, too, though they prefer him at guard. Maybe Barnett, like Crum did before last season, slides over to that side? Jake Davies and Nate Geiger, Tripodi said, are also in the mix.

"I think it's too early to tell," Tripodi added. "That'll be something that we need to get answered, but right now, we're not there yet."

 

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Like plenty of his young linemates this offseason, Conn has to prove it, Sawvel said. There will be a learning curve. He's won some battles and lost others, he added. Consistency is the true test.

"Give me a few more days and I can give you a better answer," Sawvel said with a grin.

Wyoming will host a scrimmage inside War Memorial Stadium this Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 10:15 a.m. and the practice is free and open to the public.

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players