Simpson hopes for playing time this year for Cowboys

Aug 11, 2013 By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

The former Lander Valley High School star is a red-shirt freshman this season.

LARAMIE -- Tanner Simpson has a goal. He wants to play wide receiver or on special teams in a game at War Memorial Stadium this year for the University of Wyoming.

The former Lander Valley High School standout athlete is a redshirt freshman this year on the UW football team.

Simpson and his teammates started fall camp on Monday.

Seeing playing time this year "would be a great thing," Simpson said. "It's a goal every year. I'm out here for special teams or whatever they need me."

Simpson practiced Friday morning with the other backup wide receivers as reporters watched during UW's annual football media day.

UW officials haven't released an official depth chart.

"I have been out here for a year now, and we are a family," Simpson said. "We are brothers. I just come out and do anything that will help push this team forward and help make this team better."

UW receivers Dominic Rufran and Trey Norman are some of Simpson's closest teammates on the field.

"I have learned a lot of little things on route running," Simpson said. "The coaches have helped me out. All the players have been there to help me. It just good to be out here with all of them."

Getting bigger

When Simpson arrived at UW, he weighed 165 pounds. He's now up to 190 pounds.

"I'm trying to get above 200 pounds," Simpson said. "I will just keep on putting on the good weight. I just eat right and hit the weight room hard. "

The UW receiver said the summer months were pivotal for him to get bigger and stronger.

"In the summer, we lifted a lot," Simpson said. "That was a big thing for was to be on weight during the summer."

Morning practices for the Cowboys last a little over two hours. Wyoming held its first scrimmage of the season on Sunday morning.

"The practices are going great," Simpson said. "I'm just going wherever they need me to go."

At LVHS, Simpson was a star on the football field, basketball court and in track and field. He was a multiple all-state selection.

"The good thing about it is that I can come out here and just work on one craft all year around and just get better at that one sport," Simpson said.

Dunk winner

At halftime of the Colorado-State-Wyoming basketball game in Laramie last season, Simpson won a slam dunk contest.

The winner was chosen by Cowboy basketball fans at the Arena-Auditorium.

"We put on a little fundraiser at halftime to promote the football team," Simpson said. "A couple of guys just went in there having fun."

Simpson did a windmill dunk to win the title in front of the big crowd.

Simpson was a Class 3-A high jump winner while he was at LVHS.

"It was cool to be out there with the team," Simpson said.

Good spring

Simpson said he made a lot of progress during the spring drills.

"It was a great spring," Simpson said. "Spring is for everyone to get out here and work on your craft."

In one of the spring scrimmages, the wide receiver hauled in a slant and ran it in for a 50-yard touchdown.

"It was good me to come out here and just get the plays down," Simpson said. "One of the things when I first got here was the plays were a lot faster."

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