Caden Becker Not Only Welcomed Position Change, He Asked For It
LARAMIE -- Sometimes the truth hurts.
Just not in this case.
Caden Becker, a former three-star recruit at quarterback, was moved to the defensive end spot this offseason. Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said Thursday he told the Omaha product his days under center were numbered. Not only did the Cowboys have six signal callers on the roster, it was time to face reality.
"We rolled the dice a little bit with his throwing ability," Bohl said. "Once we started to look at where we were at with his ability -- he can run, he's 240-some pounds and he's got a good change of direction -- but wasn't quite where it needed to be throwing the ball."
Admittedly, Bohl added, quarterbacks can have a real opposition to moving positions.
Becker was quite the opposite. In fact, he said he got the ball rolling, asking offensive coordinator Tim Polasek to let him make a move.
"I just wanted to find a way on the field," the former Skutt Catholic QB said bluntly. "I wanted to put myself in a spot to compete for some playing time."
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Becker threw for 1,238 yards and added seven touchdown tosses during his senior season. He completed just 66 of his 156 attempts through the air. Where he did most of his damage was on the ground. Becker rushed for 544 yards on 118 attempts. He found the end zone an additional eight times while leading Skutt to the semifinals of the Nebraska State Playoffs.
Becker said he has never played another position at any level. He trained to be a QB at this level. He competed, and excelled, in national training camps. Yet only Wyoming and Northern Illinois came calling.
"He embraced this move," Bohl said. "So, we're going to take a hard look at him this spring and I know (defensive ends coach) Brian (Hendricks) is really going to work with him."
Becker had dried blood on his right temple after Thursday's practice inside War Memorial Stadium. He joked that his helmet is too tight. He said he hasn't had to go full speed and bash away with the likes of Frank Crum, Emmanuel Pregnon and others. That will likely come Saturday when the team has its first practice in full pads.
Afraid of contact? Hardly.
"It's a different mentality," Becker said, adding that his father lined up on the defensive line during his college days. "It's a lot more physical, but, I mean, that's not really a problem for me."
Though it has been admittedly awkward putting his hand in the dirt and chasing after the guy in his former position, a tremendous weight has been lifted off his shoulders -- and brain.
"I just went from the hardest spot on the field to arguably the easiest spot on the field," he said with a grin.
Becker said he has been watching YouTube videos, focusing on technique and different edge-rushing moves from the likes of Joey Bosa and TJ Watt. He's leaning on his teammates and coaches, too. Right now the focus is learning the defensive playbook and adding an additional 10-to-15 pounds to his frame. If you've seen his weight-lifting videos on Twitter, that shouldn't be a problem.
In a time when the NCAA Transfer Portal is just an email away, Becker said that thought never even entered his thought process.
The reasoning is pretty straight forward.
"I really love my teammates and the coaching staff has been great in my time here," he said. "I wouldn't say that's necessarily been an option for me, at this point, because I want to be here. I love Laramie, too."
That's refreshing, huh?
"Like I said, I mean, I want to play," he continued. "At the end of the day, I want to give myself the best opportunity to do that and maximize my potential. So, if coach Bohl thinks I should play at another spot, you know, he's probably right.
"I was open and willing to move. I'm just looking forward to getting better at it."
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players