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Plenty of joyful tears as Haas signs preferred walk-on offer from Wyoming

SIDNEY, Neb. - The collegiate National Signing Day falls on the first Wednesday of February each year as athletes all over the country make a decision on where they plan to attend college. For some, the decision is a hard one with pressure coming from friends, family, coaching staffs, etc, on where to sign, but for some, like Sidney Red Raider senior Coby Haas, it was a no brainer.

“It’s always been the dream to go play at Wyoming,” Haas said at his signing ceremony at Sidney High School Wednesday. “Just growing up we always went over there for games so I’ve always been a fan.”

The dream came to reality on Wednesday afternoon as Haas officially became a Cowboy signing his National Letter of Intent as a preferred walk-on for the Cowboys next fall. The 6’3”, 180 lbs. athlete expects to start off as a free safety in the program under head coach Craig Bohl.

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a preferred walk-on is a player that is assured a spot on the team, but the coach is either unable or unwilling to offer a scholarship for that player due to a multitude of reasons (i.e. scholarship restrictions, open roster spots, etc.).

Haas signed his letter of intent surrounded by his family, friends, and high school coaching staff. Red Raiders head coach Chris Koozer has had the luxury of coaching several players that have gone on to play Division I football during his career, and he sees very similar qualities in Haas to those before him.

“I would put him in a handful of others guys I’ve coached, like Jase Dean, Sam Foltz, and he’s got a lot of the same characteristics where he stands out not only athletically, but in the mental side of the game,” Koozer stated. “There were times when I’d call a coverage and he’d ask, ‘Can we run this coverage instead?’ so he was always one step ahead which is great evidence of the kind of player he is.”


Haas received All-Western Conference Honorable Mention honors as a sophomore. Unfortunately, a season-ending injury in the third game of his junior year kept Haas from any post-season honors.  

“I knew rehab was going to be tough, but football was first. I worked hard for it,” said an emotional Haas.

As a senior, he was able to bounce back strong and made up for the lost time, leading the Raiders in solo tackles on defense while snagging seven passes for 132 yards on offense, making him an All-Western Conference selection this year.

He plans to enroll at the University of Wyoming in the summer with the primary focus being on gaining weight to add to his lanky, 6’3” frame. Not only has he connected with the UW coaching staff and current players on the team, he’ll also have the familiarity of having a family member joining him in Laramie as his cousin, Haize Fornstrom of Pine Bluffs High School, has also signed a letter of intent as a preferred walk-on with the Cowboys.  

Off the field, Haas plans to major in Wildlife Management and Criminal Justice with hopes of becoming a Game Manager after he hangs up his cleats.

 

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