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Fleischman earns starting spot on UW O-line

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The name Daniel Fleischman has floated around the Wyoming football program for the past two years now.

Fleischman was one of the top offensive line recruits in the Northwest coming out of Issaquah, Wash., as a senior in 2009. He chose Wyoming over offers from Washington, Washington State, BYU and Arizona among others.

Wyoming decided to redshirt Fleischman during his freshman season. Then last year he injured his leg before spring football and missed the entire 2011 season.

Now back and looking completely healthy at 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, Fleischman says he believes it's his time to shine on the Cowboy offensive line.

"I'd be lying if I said that it (the injury) wasn't a major setback," Fleischman said Monday as the Cowboys continued with spring football practice. "I made a great recovery and my teammates were all really supportive. I didn't really get that 'thrown into the fire' feeling that I would have potentially had if I'd played last year.

"Definitely another year has been a big help for me physically and mentally."

Fleischman was listed as the starting right tackle in the first spring football depth chart released Monday.

He's part of a group of lineman battling for starting spots with the graduation taking three starters from the O-line for next season. UW coaches have said they'd like to have around seven offensive linemen in the mix starting this fall. Fleischman certainly has worked his way into that group this spring.

"He's finally healthy and all things are working in his favor," UW coach Dave Christensen tells the Laramie Boomerang (http://bit.ly/IgwO1v). "He's had a good camp. He's got to be a little more consistent but he's a smart kid, starting to pick things up. I think he's got a chance to be a real solid player for us."

Fleischman said he played mostly left tackle in high school, but the change to the right side won't be a big problem for him. He added his major goal this spring is just working on the fundamentals and techniques an offensive lineman needs at this level.

Offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon says he agrees.

"He's got to become a better technician," Brandon said. "He's a smart player and he knows the schemes. He's got great feet, he can bend, he can run. With him, he needs reps. Once he gets comfortable, he'll be pretty good."

Seeing fellow Washington native Travis Bogard to his left every day in practice has helped Fleischman make the adjustment. Bogard, from Kenmore, Wash., is the starting right guard this spring. The two have helped each other with the college lineman transitions.

"We've made progressions through the spring," Fleischman said. "Personally, the progression that I've made has been huge. Come game time we're flying off the ball already. It's going to get exciting real fast. "

UW released its first two-deep chart for spring football on Monday. There were no major surprises, as most of the players practicing with the first and second strings through the first eight spring practices were listed.

All of UW's injured group of players, including starter quarterback Brett Smith, wide receiver Chris McNeill and safety Luke Ruff, are listed at the bottom of their positions for the spring.

UW's second major scrimmage of the spring will take place on Wednesday at War Memorial Stadium.

Information from: Laramie (Wyo.) Daily Boomerang, http://www.laramieboomerang.com