Former Cowboys WR Ayir Asante staying home with Giants

May 2—LARAMIE — It took about 90 seconds for Ayir Asante's life to change drastically.

The former University of Wyoming wide receiver started getting phone calls from his agent late in the sixth round of last weekend's NFL draft. Teams were expressing interest in signing Asante as an undrafted free agent if his name wasn't called Saturday night.

With three picks left in the seventh round, Asante's phone rang again. His agent was contacted by the New York Giants, and they wanted to bring Asante's talents to the roster.

While the Giants weren't the only team to express interest in Asante, they were the most aligned with the wide receiver's vision for his future in the NFL. That vision led him to sign with his hometown team late Saturday night.

"Just like in high school or when I was in the transfer portal, you get offers, and you judge each situation based on how it fits you," Asante told WyoSports on Wednesday. "You get to decide which situation is best for you and where you think you have the best chance to make it and make your impact."

Going undrafted gave Asante and his agent the chance to shop around different landing spots to find the right fit.

"If you get drafted, you have to go there, and it may not be the best situation for you, roster-wise," Asante said. "All the Day 3 (draft picks), you're not guaranteed a spot during the summer or anything like that. You can be cut just like an undrafted free agent.

"So, it's advantageous at that point (to be a free agent). Obviously, we all want to get drafted and hear our names called, but once that becomes not the reality, then you have to go and make the best decision for yourself."

The Giants' facilities are roughly a 40-minute drive from Asante's hometown of Franklin Township, New Jersey. The close proximity has led Asante's entire family to become Giants fan, but that infection never trickled down to the speedy wide receiver.

Asante claims to be an Eagles fan, but that's a secret he won't be exposing during training camp with the Giants.

"I feel like everybody would have been super excited for me to go to any team, but for me to now be with the local, home team in this market, with me going to high school here and all of my family being here and with the majority of all of my family being Giants fans, it just hits a little bit different," Asante said. "There's a lot more connections to it with me being able to stay home. I'm playing for the home team now."

Asante transferred to UW last summer after a successful four-year career at Holy Cross. He was second on the team in receiving last fall at 372 yards, hauling in 21 catches, along with a team-high six touchdowns.

Asante averaged 17.7 yards per catch, and also ran for one score on the ground.

"(Coming to UW) helped me a lot with, for one, just being in a pro-style offense," Asante said. "A lot of the stuff we were doing and just the way we would talk about certain things offensively were based off of NFL models, so a lot of the stuff we're talking about now in the NFL, it's very, very similar.

"It kind of feels just like last summer when I was picking up the Wyoming playbook and learning that stuff."

Asante earned second team All-Patriot League honors in three consecutive seasons at Holy Cross in 2019-21. He totaled 117 catches for 1,718 yards and 16 touchdowns in his career with the Crusaders.

Asante came to Laramie via the transfer portal to fulfill his dream of one day making it into the NFL.

"Being able to play in front of a larger crowd and getting on that stage definitely helped me during my (scouting process)," Asante said. "A lot of the scouts didn't even know I went to Holy Cross, because they just go off your last season.

"... I was happy that Wyoming was able to give me that last season. I'm super thankful for that opportunity, and I felt like I made the most of my opportunities there, so I was super happy with my decision to go there."

Asante will report to the Giants' rookie mini camp next Thursday. His goal is to do whatever he can to fight for a roster spot going into the new season.

"Right after I got that call and I was signed and everything like that, it really just didn't feel real," Asante said. "It was pretty surreal for me. ... I've just been working so hard for the opportunity to get to this level since I was in Pop Warner.

"Playing this game as a child and being able to use it to go to college and get a degree, it's just taken me so far and shown me so many experiences. I thank God every day for the opportunity just to play this game and for where it's taken me in my life.

"Now, to finally get to that point where the opportunity that you've been praying for is here, and you're now knocking on that door, I'm just super motivated and super ready to go out there and get this job."

Alex Taylor is the assistant editor for WyoSports and covers University of Wyoming athletics. He can be reached at Follow him on X at @alex_m_taylor22.