What's an effective way to recruit? According to Wyoming coach Craig Bohl, who played and coached for Nebraska under Tom Osborne, the key is to find players who want to be there.
“We have attracted those guys that want to embrace and come to Wyoming," Bohl said. "Long ago, Coach Osborne told me, ‘I found through the years, the guys I would beg to come to school when I was a young coach at Nebraska never ended up playing. The ones that really wanted to be here were the ones that played.’
“I finally told him what we are and where we’re going and what kind of guy we’re looking for. We’ve got those guys. That’s the model we have in place here.”
That philosophy is reminiscent of what made the Husker walk-on program so good under Osborne — while Bohl was the NU linebackers coach and later the defensive coordinator.
At Wyoming, Bohl is approaching it the same way.
“Last year we developed what we call the Wyoming Profile to identify the guys we were looking for,” Bohl told the Casper Star-Tribune. “We did a lot of research to when the University of Wyoming was successful, whether it was (during) Paul Roach’s era or Joe Tiller’s era, and what we found was two things that had not changed during those years. One was kids wanted to come here and get a great degree, a meaningful degree from the University of Wyoming. And, along with that, win the Mountain West Conference championship.”
Bohl is even taking his recruiting strategies across the border — the state border, that is. The 2015 class features Grand Island Central Catholic defensive lineman Youhanna Ghaifan and Bellevue West receiver CJ Johnson, two of the top recruits from Nebraska. For 2016, Norfolk Catholic linebacker David Engelhaupt has already committed.
It's a trend that the Cowboys would like to continue — and one that the Husker staff will need to keep an eye on. It may just turn into a turf war.