University of Wyoming UW Cowboys football helmet brown

LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming has received some much-needed depth in the secondary, with former two-star prospect TJ Urban committing to play safety for the Cowboys.

Urban confirmed Friday he has enrolled at UW, where he will play safety.

The Omaha, Nebraska, product started at quarterback last fall for US Air Force Academy Preparatory School, which plays against junior colleges and post-graduate programs, and plays a similar role as a redshirt for student-athletes at the service academy.

As a result, he arrives at UW with all of his eligibility intact.

Urban initially chose the Falcons over UW in 2020, in what he calls a “neck-and-neck” decision. The opportunity to explore his full potential on the defensive side of the ball, as well as his connection with defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel, played a key part in driving him to the Cowboys.

“You get to hit people, so that's more fun, but I feel like I can really expand on the defensive side,” Urban said. “Once I got to Air Force, I realized I could really use my athletic ability on the other side of the ball. I feel more comfortable there, and can really just fly around and do the things I did in high school.”

Urban got first team all-state and "super-state" from the Lincoln Journal Star as a senior in 2020, after helping Millard South go 8-2 with a Class A semifinals appearance. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound safety has been timed at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

“I would have to say my speed,” Urban said of his greatest strength. “I've put on some weight, but I feel like I've got even faster.”

With both of the Pokes’ 2021 starting safeties departing this offseason, he will have an opportunity to compete for immediate playing time this fall.

“I didn't know about them leaving, but I knew I was going to have to come in and start competing right away,” Urban said. “That's my goal, to try to get in that rotating lineup, and to prove myself on special teams and in spring ball. I'm excited to compete and get going.”

Josh Criswell covers the University of Wyoming for WyoSports. He can be reached at or 307-755-3325. Follow him on Twitter at @criswell_sports.

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