LARAMIE, Wyo. - Among Wyoming's recent football recruits are a pair of linemen from the neighboring states and a speedy running back out of Texas.
Giving the Cowboys verbal commitments are: Scott Criss, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound offensive lineman from Omaha Creighton Prep in Nebraska; Joshua Martin, a 6-3, 230-pound defensive end from Aurora Cherokee Trail High School in Colorado; and Alvester Alexander, a 5-11, 205-pound running back from C.E. King High School in Houston.
Criss, who earned Class A All-State first-team honors this past season as a defensive lineman, had been holding out for a chance to become a Cornhusker.
"I've been a Nebraska fan for 18 years, but they wanted me to walk-on," Criss said.
Criss has three older sisters that were members of the Nebraska women's swimming team.
When Criss learned that the only offer coming from Nebraska was as a walk-on, he decided to take a visit to Wyoming.
"I went to Wyoming to check things out and I liked it a lot," he said. "I liked coach (Dave) Christensen and he's going to be turning the program around. I felt real comfortable up there and I was very impressed. It's just a great opportunity and a great conference to play in."
Criss was a two-year starter on a Creighton Prep team that went 18-5 the last two seasons and advanced to the Nebraska Class A state playoffs. He played defensive tackle as a junior and defensive tackle and offensive guard and tackle as a senior. He was a first team Class A all-state this past season as a defensive end.
Criss is also a basketball player and competes in track and field at Creighton Prep, throwing the shot put and discus.
Criss will be asked to play on the offensive side of the ball at Wyoming, something he said he is looking forward to,
"Going to Wyoming with coach Christensen's new spread offense … I'm going to love it," Criss said. "I like being able to be in a two-point stance all the time instead of three. I like that as an offensive lineman. I'm just excited to play."
Martin, who started only one season at Cherokee High School, is a late bloomer who is expected to get better in college.
Martin spent his first three years playing in a backup role for the Cougars as a safety and wide receiver. He was moved to defensive end as a senior and responded by making 53 tackles, 10 of which were quarterback sacks.
He was a second-team All-Centennial League selection and an All-Colorado honorable mention academic choice.
"The main purpose of my switching positions was to play more, and it worked out," Martin said. "I like being on the line and closer to the ball. I like the contact on every play and being able to rush the passer. I just like the contact."
Martin visited the UW campus last weekend.
"The coaches seem to have the players' best interests in mind," Martin said. "I felt like I was at home on my visit. The coaches were warm and welcomed me and the guys on the team seemed like a team. A lot of places there are cliques within a team, but at Wyoming I didn't get the sense that existed."
Alexander, who has been timed at 4.48 in the 40 and 10.96 in the 100 meters, will come to Wyoming after helping C.E. King to a 7-2 regular season and the Class 4A state playoffs where the Panthers dropped a tough 35-34 decision to Nederland.
During the regular season, Alexander carried the ball 142 times for 1,140 yards (8.03 average) and 16 touchdowns in being named a first-team All-District 19-4A selection.
Alexander, who was also being recruited by hometown Houston, came on strong his senior year after carrying the ball only 23 times for 217 yards (9.4 average) and two touchdowns as a junior.
Alexander also runs track at C.E. King where he is a sprinter.