Cougar Spotlight: Coleby Clawson

From Steeler linebacker Jack Lambert to country music legend Conway Twitty, Cougar outside linebacker Coleby Clawson talks candidly about some of his favorite teams, players, music, movies and heroes in this edition of Cougar Spotlight.

When it comes to entertainment choices, Coleby Clawson loves shows and movies that tickle his funny bone.

"My wife and I have seen all of the seasons," said Clawson. "One of our favorite things to do is when I come home at night after all the football and school and all of the pressures and stresses, we sit down on the couch and relax together and watch ‘The Office.' So ‘The Office' is my favorite TV show, but as far as movies go I really like comedies as well. I like watching all the old Chris Farley movies like ‘Black Sheep,' ‘Tommy Boy,' ‘Beverly Hills Ninja' and ‘Almost Heroes.'"

When John Beck was the quarterback at BYU, he used to quote funny lines from the movie ‘Nacho Libre' with other teammates in the locker room. It would help lighten the mood a bit. Quotes like "Mucho take it easy!" and "And then I take out the legs!" were common jokes back then. It seems that movie-quoting fun is still alive and well in the Cougar locker room.

"I love all those Chris Farley movies and will quote them with some of my friends here in the locker room every day," said Clawson with a laugh. "I'm always busting out lines from movies and half the time my wife doesn't even know what I'm talking about. I have to remind her what they are [and] where they came from once in awhile, but yeah, me and some of the guys here like to throw out random movie quotes. Jordan Pendleton and Dan Van Sweden and Shane Hunter will do it back and forth a lot, so mostly just the linebackers will throw lines from comedy movies back and fourth. We quote a lot of Chris Farley movies and we'll do ‘Dumb and Dumber,' and ‘Anchor Man' we'll pull from quite a bit as well."

Having fun away from the field helps to keep the Band of Brothers close during tough times, but when it comes to finding something to eat after a hard day's work of practice and studying, Clawson likes to chow down on some breakfast no matter what time of the day it may be.

"My favorite food is probably biscuits and gravy," said Clawson with a smile. "I love breakfast food and I really love IHOP. I also love my wife's chicken turnovers. I gotta throw my wife's cooking in there too."

Clawson was wise to include his wife's cooking, or else he might be in a bit of trouble if she ever reads this. Surely no one wants that to happen.

As for music, Clawson's taste is varied.

"I love a variety of music and even, like, old country music," said Clawson. "I really like the old country music from a long time ago. I like Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves and Conway Twitty. That kind of comes from my family too. A lot of my grandparents were musicians and so my dad's family kind of grew up playing country songs. That's what they did for a living and used to play for dances and things down in New Mexico, so during the weekends they would do that and then during the week my great grandpa was a saddle maker. So I grew up around that but I would have to say that my all-time favorite music is alternative rock like Dashboard Confessions and The Dave Matthews Band."

Moving on to sports-related topics, Clawson's favorite NFL team is the Pittsburg Steelers.

"I remember when I was in middle school I loved the Steelers," he said. "Even through the good years and the bad years I loved the Steelers and they're my favorite NFL team. I think the reason is because it was when Jerome Bettis was hitting his prime, and I used to love watching him run people over. He was just a really good player, and so I think he's the one that got me started with following the Steelers. I also used to love watching Levon Kirkland, who was their really big middle linebacker back then, so just watching those two play back then was a lot of fun for me growing up."

Ironically, Clawson eventually earned a starting spot at BYU on a defense that runs the same 4-3 scheme as his favorite NFL team. It's something Clawson thinks about quite often.

"Yeah, it's been a lot of fun like that," an enthusiastic Clawson said. "I still like watching a lot of the Steelers' defense because we do a lot of what they do, especially from the outside linebacker's position. It's definitely fun to watch them. In the preseason, I watched a lot of Steelers' film to see what they did on pass rushing and to see what they did scheme-wise defensively and with technique. I did watch a lot during the summer getting ready for fall camp."

The BYU coaches have also made an effort to study the Steelers' defense..

"Coach Mendenhall has mentioned a couple of times that over the past couple of years the Steelers have had the best defense in the NFL," said Clawson. "He said that our defense has proven to work at the highest level and is tried and tested and is a good defense. They're sound on their run game and then they have some playmakers like Troy Polamalu that are always coming up and making good tackles. I just think all across the board they're a sound defense."

So who is Clawson's all-time favorite NFL player?

"I have several that I really like," Clawson said. "I like a lot of the older guys that played. Coming from the Steeler defense, I loved Jack Lambert and the way he played linebacker and his intensity. I loved the way he played the game."

When it comes to a top NBA team, Clawson follows his home-state team.

"I would have to say that my favorite NBA team is the Jazz," Clawson said. "It kind of goes back to the days of [the] Stockton-to-Malone years. I liked them ever since and even though they haven't been as good of a team now I still follow them."

So what about the Los Angeles Lakers?

"No, I'm not a Lakers fan," Clawson quickly stated. "I did grow up a really big basketball fan and kind of got away from it once I got into football, but I used to hate the Lakers and just about every team that played the Jazz well. I'm not that bad now but I definitely don't like the Lakers and I'm still a Jazz fan."

Although Clawson may not like Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers because of their success against the Utah Jazz, there was one rival NBA player that he did like.

"I always liked watching Michael Jordan play even though he beat my team for a couple of years," said Clawson. "It was frustrating because the Jazz had them beaten a couple of times, but I just love his attitude towards the game. He always found a way to win even when they were down and it looked like [The Bulls] didn't have a prayer to win. I've always tried to play like that. It's so much harder playing against guys that have that mentality and will always try to find a way to win. You always want guys like that on your team."

Sure, the professional athletes Clawson mention are great players and they are his favorites for good reason, but when asked who his heroes are, his choices were a bit closer to home.

"I would have to say my parents," Clawson said with a smile. "I grew up working a lot with my dad [Karl], and he taught me how to work hard at a young age. He's a contractor and he and I started his contracting business when I was at a young age, so it was just me and him at the job site together. I remember working all summer instead of going out and playing with my friends. I just wanted to be with my dad and work with him, so I would have to say one of my biggest heroes is my dad."

Clawson's list of heroes doesn't stop with his father.

"Along with my dad I would also have to say that my mother [Leslie] is also my hero," he said. "She is also one of my heroes because she is such a great mother, so my parents have been my heroes for a long time and have supported me through everything. This year, they haven't missed a game either at home or away. They've always just found the time to find support for all of us kids, so they're definitely my heroes."


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