April 12, 2012
Collin DeBuysere, a born leader
By David Boyce
Almost from the first day he stepped on the football practice field at Northwest Missouri State, Collin DeBuysere was called Bud by teammates and coaches.
“Some guys don’t know my name because of that,” DeBuysere said. “Everybody calls me Bud. When I came my freshman year, you know how everybody will call somebody by their last name. My last name is DeBuysere and they couldn’t remember that. Budweiser rhymes with it so it kind of stuck.”
DeBuysere, who is preparing for his senior season, is no longer an anonymous linebacker trying to get noticed. Everything came together in the fall of 2011. He finished third on the team in tackles with 73.
In addition, DeBuysere finished with 2.5 sacks, recovered a fumble, forced a fumble and had 5.5 tackles for losses, totaling 16 yards.
It’s a remarkable step up for DeBuysere, who started 10 games and saw action in 13 of 14 games for the Bearcats. By comparison, DeBuysere only had 18 tackles his sophomore year.
“He was really solid, really consistent. In my mind, I think he overachieved from what he had done previous years,” Northwest coach Adam Dorrel said. “He wasn’t a kid who we expected to start. He proved everybody wrong. He obviously had a great year.”
When Northwest recruited DeBuysere, they saw a long, lanky player from Geneseo, Ill., who had the frame and athletic ability to make plays on defense.
But there was a learning curve that DeBuysere had trouble cresting.
“His first couple of years here he did some good things. He worked hard. He just never seemed to put it together,” Dorrel said.
“The big thing is he finally got comfortable in our defense. In years past, he always analyzed everything. He finally learned everything and he started cutting loose and we finally saw the kid who we saw on film in high school.”
DeBuysere started making impactful plays.
“I finally allowed myself to take in some of things the coaches were telling me to do and was able to learn every day from the guys who were older than me,” DeBuysere said. “It finally sunk in and I was able to find some of that playing time.”
DeBuysere entered spring football this time as one of the leaders, someone the younger players will look to for guidance.
Dorrel likes what he has seen from DeBuysere as the Bearcats wrap up spring drills.
“He has looked awesome,” Dorrel said. “He is playing really physical. He is doing a good job of jamming the slots, jamming the tight end. He is showing great leadership right now. We have a good linebacker core back. I feel like they are all doing a good job, especially Bud.”
Northwest had its last practice on Thursday and will conclude spring football 2012 with its Green and White game 5 p.m. Saturday at Bearcat Stadium.
“Spring football for me is really time to get better,” DeBuysere said. “You don’t have to worry about performing in a game and all the stresses that go along with the season. You can take it day by day and learn the fundamentals and really get comfortable with the packages we have.
“It is a time to grow with the team and get comfortable with everyone you will be playing with in the upcoming season.”
Still, the spring football game brings a different intensity than practice. It’s not like a real game when you are taking on a rival. It is a game, though, where the players are trying to prove something to the coaches.
“We put in 15 practices,” DeBuysere said. “You are always itching for a game-time situation. Everyone is eager to compete and show the coaches some of the fundamentals you have been working on throughout spring practices. It is a great time, a high-energy day on Saturday. We are really excited for it.
“But it is a little bit different. You are competing for a position and against each other. You go in knowing that. You have a job to do and you are going to do it to the best of your ability. You have been working hard the whole time against each other. You are not going to slow up just because it is one of your buddies across the line. Everyone is going to go 100 percent.”
For a player with such a simple nickname in Bud, DeBuysere gives insightful, well thought out answers in a split second.
Dorrel said DeBuysere is highly intelligent. Dorrel also calls him Congressman DeBuysere or Senator DeBuysere.
“He is just real good at communicating and he is a real good listener. I see a big leadership role for him,” Dorrel said.
“He is just a real likeable kid.”
During DeBuysere’s sophomore year, he joined the Student Senate and thus the tag from Dorrel.
“I wanted to get involve and learn more about fees and what is going on and take a vested interest in my campus,” he said.
“I’m the off-campus representative. Whenever we come up to voting the allocation of money and fees, I go to my off campus constituents. People who live off-campus get their voice heard.”
On the football field, DeBuysere also wants to be a leader. Your senior season is a time to be a leader, DeBuysere said.
“You have been there in the program the longest,” he said. “The younger guys are looking up to you. It is time definitely to step and be a leader. The seniors have met a few times to discuss different ways to keep the energy high.”
In his time with Northwest, DeBuysere has played with many great teammates, won numerous thrilling games and was a member of a national championship team.
But it was during a tragedy that he realized he was part of a truly special team and campus. It occurred when Northwest head coach Scott Bostwick suddenly passed away last June of a heart attack.
“When coach Bostwick died I saw how the team came together,” DeBuysere said. “We were in the locker room. We were crying together. We were going through a rough time. To know we grew more as a family than we already were and got closer than ever before was amazing.
“I think that was a time when I really decided that wow, Northwest was right for me.”
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