LARAMIE -- On the field, Jay Sawvel said, Chris Durr Jr. is more than ready to play.

The 5-foot-10, 162-pound wide receiver proved that Thursday afternoon in the Cowboys annual spring game, snagging a dozen passes for 121 yards.

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Durr hauled in dump passes, crossing patterns and fast balls at the sideline. He made the easy grabs and the tough ones, including on an out route late in regulation that was caught in a crowd. Only one hand was required for that one.



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Wyoming's rookie head coach, though, is focused on a different number -- 10 -- which he says will demonstrate just how serious the Chicago product is about becoming an impact player during his first season in Laramie.

"He's going to tell me how ready he is to play when he goes home next weekend and comes back three weeks later, based on what his weight is at," Sawvel said of the true freshman. "He'll tell me whether he's ready to play or not ... We need to get another eight to 10 pounds on him in the summer."

That process has been underway since the minute Durr signed on the dotted line.

He came to Wyoming this winter tipping the scales at 148 pounds. No, that isn't a misprint. Despite his size, Durr drew the attention of programs like Army, Eastern Michigan, Louisville, New Mexico State and Penn after capping his senior season at Morgan Park High School with 1,130 receiving yards on 68 grabs. Thirteen of those were touchdowns.

Durr isn't permitted to speak with the media. It's a new rule that muzzles rookies who haven't accomplished anything on the field yet.

That doesn't mean his teammates can't talk about him.

"He is a player," said Evan Svoboda, who was on the opposing sideline on this day. "He' supposed to be in high school still. For such a young guy to come in and really showcase his abilities, I think it's super impressive. I mean, you saw it today: his catching ability, late hands, his versatility, the juke moves.

"He's a young kid, but he's going to be something truly special."

Aside from a second-quarter fumble Thursday -- one coughed up fighting for extra yardage -- Durr showed off his speed and elusiveness whether that came via the end-around or a quick hitch. He showed no fear over the middle and is always seemingly open.

He did all of that damage against the starting defense, too.



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In three weeks, Durr will indeed walk across the stage in full cap and gown to receive his diploma. Sawvel said he's allowing him to rejoin the team a week late during summer workouts so he can take that all-important handoff.

When he returns, however, it's all about adding muscle. The other intangibles seem to already be in place. He'll definitely make an impact for us, Sawvel said with a grin.

"He's got really, really, really good ball skills -- and it's natural," he added. "The ball just kind of absorbs into his hands really well ... he's a really good young man and has a great attitude. He is really enjoying Wyoming. He loves being here."

The locals are going to love seeing him, too.

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 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:

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players