December 9, 2012

Chicago back pledges Wyoming

You may have to excuse the Wyoming football coaches if they are dealing with a little carpel tunnel these days. Their efforts to make prospects feel wanted has involved a lot of handwritten notes of late and that personal touch has worked wonders with Bolingbrook (Ill.) running back, Omar Stover.

The 5-foot-11, 194-pound running back said it was the love he felt from the Wyoming staff that helped him choose the Cowboys as his college destination.

"I have probably 60 handwritten messages from everyone on the staff at Wyoming," Stover said. "That meant a lot.

"I was talking to (Illinois) a lot and I was talking to Ole Miss, but to me even if they did offer, I would still go to Wyoming. I wouldn't want to go to a school because of a name and then sit for two years. I had the most love from Wyoming and I thought that was the place I wanted to go and spend the next four years. They gave me the opportunity and told me they want me to come down and play at the division I level."

Stover is coming off a season that saw him rush for 1,015 yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 yards per carry for a 7-3 Bolingbrook High School team that made the second round of the Illinois State Playoffs. For his efforts, Stover was offered scholarships from North Dakota and Wyoming. He also received interest from much of the Mid-American Conference. As a junior, he rushed for 891 yards and eight scores.

"I think my highest skill level is my vision and my cutting ability," Stover said. "I am good at making people miss."

The romance between Wyoming and Stover started last winter with a visit to Bolingbrook, which was later followed by Stover sending Wyoming his senior tape. Around week five of the season, the offer from Wyoming came in. Last weekend, Stover came to Laramie to check out the Wyoming campus and he said he was pleasently surprised.

"I was expecting to see nothing there - absolytely nothing," he said. "Going into Laramie it wasn't what I thought it would be. First, we went to the athetic department. It was nice and I liked the way the coaches treated me and my family. The teammates were the same way too. They weren't out to go out and party and doing things stupid. They were there to play football and that was cool."

Stover said two days after his visit, Wyoming offensive coordinator Jim Harding visited Stover at school and the Illinois back committed soon after.

"It was just a gut feeling," Stover said. "I called them right after the visit and committed. Coach Harding was really excited. He actually told me thank you when I told him I wanted to commit."

Wyoming fans may not need to wait long to see Stover in the Brown and Gold. Stover said he will graduate in the next couple weeks and is trying to get to Laramie for the start of the spring semester, which would allow him to participate in spring drills at Wyoming.

"They are working on some things for enrollment, but they are real excited to get me down there for the spring, which is really what I was pushing for. I want to get down there early. They don't want me to redshirt and I want to play right away and getting to Wyoming right away seemed like the best way to do that," Stover said.

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