For Garrett Angell, it’s a dream come true. The big Lovell senior last week decided to accept a preferred walk-on offer to play football at the University of Wyoming.
The decision to attend UW came to the Lovell lineman as he returned from an official visit to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, who has been recruiting Angell along with the likes of Dickinson State, Minot State and Dakota State.
He had been in contact with UW offensive line coach Jim Harding for several months after he spoke with university coaches a year ago at LHS and following this season sent a highlight video and two game films to UW coaches.
Coach Harding followed up and established contact with Angell, he said, noting that he and the coach have spoken often by phone since then. In the end, it was simply a matter of Angell’s dream of playing Division I football
“Not a lot of people get that opportunity, and I really wanted to,” he said. He notified Harding on Jan. 18 that he wanted to accept UW’s offer to play football at the university.
“Looking forward to being a Cowboy,” he wrote to Harding.
Angell is the son of David and Kim Angell of Lovell.
“We talked about it as a family, and I said, ‘I can’t pass this up. I want to play for Wyoming.’”
“We said OK,” father David said.
As a preferred walk-on, Angell said, he will not receive scholarship money but will be guaranteed a spot on the roster next season. He will work out with the team and will redshirt next season, he said, hoping to play in the fall of 2013. He hopes to eventually earn a scholarship and move up on the depth chart.
Although he mainly played defensive tackle last season, helping anchor the defensive line for Lovell’s 11-0 state championship team, Angell said Harding was recruiting him as an offensive tackle. He’s huge at 6-6, 330, but Angell said he wants to lose weight and work on agility, footwork and speed drills. He will train in Lovell under the tutelage of Kevin Walker, he said.
Angell said he will major in computer science at UW, hoping to become a computer programmer. He plans to visit the campus in late February or early March to meet the coaching staff. He will also apply for other scholarships to help pay for his education.
Angell has received plenty of honors during his career. He was named to the 2A Northwest All-Conference team following the 2011 season, and he received several other awards this year: 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl nominee, ESPN All-Wyoming team and Gridiron University All-American. He was also nominated for the Prep Star Classic All-American game in Las Vegas.
“He was a big player (6-6, 330) who plugged up the middle and made it hard to run against our defense,” Lovell coach Doug Hazen said last fall. “He also got a good push and put on some pressure when we needed it.”
Angell finished with 35 assisted tackles, five solo tackles, two tackles for a loss and one pass breakup in 2011.
His brother Brandon is an offensive tackle as a junior at Dickinson State.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity,” Garrett said. “It’s every little kid’s dream to play Division I football, and I get that opportunity.”
By David Peck