Wyoming’s Rico Gafford to Play in Saturday’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

photo by DJ Johnson, KFBC radio

by staff–18 Jan ’18

Wyoming senior cornerback Rico Gafford will have an opportunity to show NFL scouts his talents on Saturday, Jan. 20 when he will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl to be played in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.  Gafford will play for the American Team.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m., Mountain Time and will be televised live on FS1.  This year’s game will be the 7th Annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.  The game was first played in 2012.  More information on this year’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl may be found at: http://collegiate.nflpa.com/

The head coach of Gafford’s American Team will be former All-Pro cornerback Darrell Green of the Washington Redskins.  The National Team will be coached by former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz.  Among the players joining Gafford on the American Team will be TCU quarterback Kenny Hill, Michigan quarterback John O’Korn, Colorado State running back Dalyn Dawkins and Hawai’i running back Diocemy Saint-Juste.  The National Team will feature Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen and San Diego State wide receiver Mikah Holder.

Gafford had an outstanding senior season for the Cowboys.  He intercepted four passes in the 2017 season, including one interception each at Iowa, versus Oregon, against Texas State and at Utah State.  He returned his interception vs. Texas State 37 yards for a touchdown.  Gafford tied for No. 4 in the Mountain West Conference and No. 29 in the nation in interceptions in 2017.

The native of West Des Moines, Iowa, led the Cowboys in passes defended in 2017, with 10 (four interceptions and six pass breakups) and ranked 10th in the MW in that category.  He was credited with 43 total tackles on the season, including 29 solo tackles.  He also had one forced fumble and one tackle for a loss.

Among his best games of the 2017 season were: an eight-tackle performance vs. Hawai’i (including five solo tackles); a seven-tackle game at San Jose State (including five solo tackles and a pass breakup); a four-tackle performance at Air Force; a three-tackle game at Utah State that also saw him intercept a pass and breakup two others; and a three-tackle performance against Oregon in a game where he also intercepted one pass.

For his career, Gafford was credited with: 103 total tackles, including 76 solo stops; six career interceptions; 17 career passes defended; three forced fumbles; and 1.5 tackles for loss.