TEs at a Glance: Wade Betschart

The only offensive player from Wyoming to be named to the preseason All-Mountain West Conference Team, senior TE Wade Betschart will look to improve on an already impressive career with the Cowboys in 2007.

The Cowboys' starting tight end/H-back for the 2007 season, Wade Betschart wasn't able to practice during the spring due to injury, but at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, "Bucky," as coaches often call him, is a big, versatile target in both the passing game and as a blocker.

A Torrington Wyoming native, Betschart played in all 12 games in 2006 as a starter. He posted 18 receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns, ranking fifth on the team in total receptions and fourth in receiving yards. He also ran in one TD in the Pokes' 31-15 homecoming route of Utah.

While putting up impressive receiving numbers, Betschart was often given the assignment of opening up holes for the Cowboys' two explosive running backs when lined up at the H-back position, and he became known around the conference for his punishing blocks. With both Wynel Seldon and Devin Moore returning to the backfield in '07, if Bucky can keep up his outstanding run blocking this season, the Cowboys could have the conference's premier rushing attack.

"I've been saying this as of late," head coach Joe Glenn said during his media day press conference August 10, "People always keep statistics on rushing yards and passing yards, receptions and tackles, but this game, you've always heard, is a game of block and tackle, and Bucky can block.

Glenn has often referred to Betschart as the best blocker he has ever coached.

"I tell everyone everywhere I go that will listen," Glenn said, "‘Don't always follow the ball. Go find Bucky and watch him smash somebody.' He's a tough dude."

Offensive Coordinator Bill Cockhill is confident Betschart's imposing presence will be a bur in the side of opposing teams' defenses during the coming season.

"He is a very good blocker and does serve a purpose in the pass game, so we'll try to use both and make sure to keep people off balance knowing that."

As a senior, Betschart should have his best season to date, barring unforeseen injuries. A leader on the Cowboys' '07 squad, his experience will be an added boon in helping sophomore quarterback Karsten Sween further acclimate himself to his crucial role as the team's offensive centerpiece. He has played in all 35 games of his Wyoming career and started in 17.

"He's kind of what we're all about," Glenn said. "I have a lot of faith in Bucky."

Betschart's 2007 Keys to Success:

1. Health. Even though having the pokes' two top tight ends out for spring ball was great for the backups and the depth of the position, it wasn't a good sign for the team as a whole. Both Betschart and fellow tight end Chris Sunberg will be ready for game 1, Coach Glenn said he hopes they can shake off the rust of missing time during the spring by September 1. And let's hope neither get a visit from the injury bug in 2007.

2. Block and catch. Betschart's job is simple, and yet very few players can do it the way he does. If all goes well, he should be a huge redzone threat for the Pokes in '07, both in springing the running backs free for touchdowns and in squaring his shoulders and becoming a nice target for Sween in short passing situations. In the end, if he doesn't miss blocks and doesn't drop passes, he could be the best tight end in the conference.

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