Why Hasn’t Wyoming Wideout Jaylen Sargent Played Yet?
LARAMIE -- Before the start of the 2021 season, Craig Bohl was asked if any true freshmen had a chance to earn playing time in the fall.
He mentioned running back DQ James. Wyoming's head coach also said wide receiver Jaylen Sargent was a prime candidate to see action.
James has appeared in five games this fall, carrying the ball 10 times for 23 yards. The Lancaster, Texas product has added four catches for 42 yards, including a crucial 23-yard grab late in a 40-37 double-overtime victory over Tulsa.
Sargent, on the other hand, still hasn't seen the field.
"He's steadily improving," UW wide receivers coach Mike Grant said. "I think a couple of little things mentally are holding back at the moment, but I'm pleased with his effort and his ability. You know, we can't afford a mental error here or a mental error there that will just set us back.
"So, once he kind of cleans up that part of his game I can expect him to get on the field."
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Sargent, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound redshirt freshman, was a three-star recruit out of Logan High School in Utah. The Deseret News named him a First Team All-State Class 4A selection after a senior season that saw the speedster haul in 60 passes for 860 yards and 11 touchdowns.
His hometown team, the Utah State Aggies, who will pay a visit to War Memorial Stadium Saturday night for a 7:45 p.m. kickoff, wanted the local kid. So did Mountain West rival Air Force and Ivy League school, Dartmouth.
Grant said the bye week was a prime opportunity for Sargent, and sophomore Tyrese Grant, to turn the corner. Reps were limited for the workhorses like Joshua Cobbs, Wyatt Wieland and Will Pelissier, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury he sustained in Week 4 loss at BYU.
Cobbs, who leads the team with 285 yards on 24 receptions and has also added two touchdowns, said he has seen plenty of growth from Sargent over the last two seasons.
"I think the main thing is, coming in young he's just learning to play a little looser, you know, getting comfortable with understanding everything," the sophomore said. "Once you get to that point it becomes a little easier because you're not as worried about whether or not you're running a play right or if you're doing your job. It's more about how to do your job and how to get open.
"It takes longer for certain people, but we'll see more out of him as we go."
Wieland and Cobbs are listed as the starters against the Aggies. Alex Brown and Ryan Marquez are also on the two-deep for the Cowboys' eighth game of the season.