UW Welcomes Back The Fullback

Oct. 10, 2000

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -

Darth Tesinsky is comfortable playing football again.

The University of Wyoming junior was recruited to UW out of high school inBrainard, Neb., as a fullback.

In his first two years with the Cowboys, Tesinsky didn't get any carries atfullback. In 1998, as a redshirt freshman, Tesinsky was one of the Pokes'top players on special teams.

Last season, as a sophomore, the fullback position was eliminated whenoffensive coordinator Manny Matsakis was brought in to run his triple-shootoffense.

Tesinsky played some at running back, but was later moved to linebacker. Hecontinued to see most of his playing time on special teams.

But when Vic Koenning was hired to replaced Dana Dimel as UW's head coach inDecember, Koenning brought in offensive coordinator Rusty Burns and a moreconventional offense.

That meant the fullback was back.

"I was so excited last spring when the coaching staff told me they wereputting the fullback back into the offense," Tesinsky said. "It's a dreamcome true. I was really excited for it, because that's the position I'm mostnatural at."

Tesinsky's numbers this season are not overly impressive. He's carried theball nine times for 27 yards. But a fullback's main job is to block, whichis something he does very well.

"He's just tough, that's all there is to say about him," UW seniorquarterback Jay Stoner said. "He doesn't care if he's got to block a250-pound linebacker or a 180-pound defensive back. He'll do it, and he'lldo it like it's the same person."

But ask Tesinsky's offensive linemen, and he is not too bad of a runner,either.

"He's by far one of the toughest and hardest runners I've ever seen," UWsophomore center Mike Irvin said. "I've seen him run over safeties andlinebackers. I think the toughness he brings to our team can't be replaced."

While Tesinsky is elated to be back at fullback this season, he wasuncertain about his situation last season.

"I was kind of thinking that this might not be the place for me," Tesinskysaid. "But some of my good friends told me to just keep working hard andstick it out. That's the way I approached it.

"I was still playing a lot on special teams, and I was thinking some changescould still happen. If not, I was moved to linebacker and was hoping I coulddo something there."

Stoner and Irvin are roommates with Tesinsky. They were both impressed withhow Tesinsky handled the possibility of never playing his natural positionat UW.

"He kept a good attitude all the time," Stoner said. "That says a lot abouthis character. He decided that wherever the coaches put him that he wasgoing to do the best he could. He kept upbeat all the time. He didn't gointo the tank like a couple of people could have."

Added Irvin: "Darth's a tough guy, and he overcame that adversity. Darth'sjust one of those guys that when something goes wrong, he responds."

Tesinsky's highlight of the season came in UW's 45-10 loss at New Mexicowhen he scored the Cowboys' lone touchdown on a 2-yard touchdown run.

"I just love that position," Tesinsky said.