LARAMIE, Wyo. — Youhanna Ghaifan was good last season, but through five games this season he’s a lot better.
The Wyoming redshirt sophomore defensive tackle is third on the team with 33 tackles, has a team-best eight tackles for loss and is tied for the team lead with three quarterback sacks.
In 14 games last season, Ghaifan had 33 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.
Ghaifan had his best game in the Cowboys’ 45-10 home victory over Texas State on Saturday with nine tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble.
The four tackles for loss tied a team single-game record with six other players. The most recent was former defensive end Eddie Yarbrough, now with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, in 2012 at UNLV.
“Youhanna has the opportunity down the road to become a dominant defensive lineman,” fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl said. “He’s got the skills of quickness, explosion and strength, and he’s developing more instinct.
“It was great to see him make a lot of plays (against Texas State). He was in the backfield an awful lot, but beyond him there were a lot of other guys.”
UW (3-2 overall, 1-0 Mountain West) had 11 tackles for loss, which tied a season high, and a season-best four sacks against Texas State.
While Ghaifan’s best football may still be ahead of him, his level of play so far this season has been impressive – if nothing else.
His 33 tackles leads all Mountain West defensive linemen, and he’s among the leaders in tackles for loss and sacks.
“It was just me being really confident. Once I got that down, I wanted to make more plays right away,” Ghaifan told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle (http://bit.ly/2wumWMW ). “I’m a lot stronger now compared to last season, and I just feel a lot more explosive than I was.”
Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com