UW Noseguard Proves That Bigger's Not Always Better

Aug. 29, 2001

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

It seems like football players keep gettingbigger and bigger as the years go by.

In the good old days of leather helmets and notelevision, a player was considered big if he weighedmore than 220 pounds.

Today, most quarterbacks and punters weigh 220 pounds.

One position that usually requires a lot of size isnoseguard. That player is the one who plugs up holesalong the offensive line so his linebackers can makethe tackles - and receive all the attention.

It's not uncommon to see noseguards weigh 300 poundsor more.

University of Wyoming noseguard Chad Beuhler isn't inthat category, though. Beuhler is listed at 6-foot-2,258 pounds. But after fall camp, he is closer to 250than 260.

But don't let Beuhler's lack of size deceive you, heholds his own going against offensive linemen who areoften 50 to 70 pounds larger.

"If there's one person who can play noseguard at 250pounds, it's Chad," UW junior noseguard Tam Pruittsaid. "He has unbelievable quickness and unbelievableleg strength. He's aggressive and just a force off theball.

"Mentally and physically he has it all. He couldprobably play it at 230."

Beuhler played linebacker and noseguard in high schoolin Belleview, Fla., but noseguard was the position heliked the most. It also was the one at which he wasmost effective. Beuhler was named his conference'sdefensive player of the year as a senior.

From high school, Beuhler went to CoffeyvilleCommunity College in Coffeyville, Kan., where heplayed noseguard. He started every game as a freshmanand recorded six quarterback sacks.

Last year, UW was looking for depth at noseguard whichled to Beuhler's signing. Jeff Boyle was expected tobe the main man for the Pokes, but injuries slowed himdown most of the season.

In stepped Beuhler. He played in nine games andrecorded 23 tackles, one quarterback sack and threetackles for losses.

"Chad had the strongest squat of all the (defensivelinemen) last year of about 650 pounds," UW defensiveline coach Tom Turchetta said. "He's got great lowerbody strength. We are concerned about his weight. Hewas as low as 240 pounds this summer.

"But his biggest strength is his quickness. He getsinto blockers, and, because of his quickness, hedoesn't allow them to get into him. Chad is fine, Idon't have any problems with him at all."

Beuhler knows that because he's so light, he has to bealmost perfect in other aspects of the game.

"It's all about technique," Beuhler said. "I have tohave great technique with my size because once alineman gets me, he has me pretty good."

Pruitt, who is 6-2, 279, said he and many of the otherUW defensive linemen feed off what Beuhler can do onthe football field.

"If you can learn from (Beuhler) when you have what hedoesn't have, it's a chance to make yourself better,"Pruitt said.

Buehler is considered one of the funny guys on the UWteam. During fall camp, Beuhler tried to summon thepowers above during practice to get some relief fromthe heat.

"Chad likes to draw the rain turtle sometimes," Pruittsaid. "When it was hot outside, and we could use alittle rain during practice, Chad would to draw alittle rain turtle in the ground and put a lightningbolt down the back.

"I think it's worked two out of three times duringcamp. I think he's a witch doctor."

Added Beuhler: "I tried to have a little fun with theguys. You've got to have fun out here, especiallyduring fall camp when guys are tired and sometimes alittle cranky."