Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 71
CHEYENNE — Do you ever see a number on a Wyoming football jersey and think of all the great players to wear it? Yeah, me too. In this daily series, I’ll give you my take on which Pokes’ football player was the best ever to don each number. The criteria are simple: How did he perform at UW? What kind of impact did he have on the program?
No. 71 – Nick Bebout
Left tackle, 1970-72, Shoshoni
Résumé in Laramie
Nick Bebout was a three-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection. Before his senior season in 1972, Bebout was named to the preseason Playboy All-American team. He was a team captain for then-head coach Fritz Shurmur. In 2001, he was the first offensive lineman to be elected into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame. Bebout was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the sixth round of the 1973 NFL Draft.
Back in 1999, Sports Illustrated dubbed Nick Bebout the 26th best athlete to ever come out of Wyoming.
Boyd Dowler was ranked No. 1. He led some legendary Packers teams in receiving seven times and won a pair of Super Bowls. Jerry Hill also made the list at No. 6. The Lingle native also won a championship alongside Johnny Unitas. Jim Crawford is the 7th best athlete from the Cowboy State, according to the magazine. He led the NCAA in rushing in 1956.
Tom Wilkinson (13th), Dewey McConnell (17th) and Dennis Havig (20th) are also Wyoming football royalty.
What does it all mean?
Bebout is in great company.
The Shoshoni product earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors three times, playing left guard for Lloyd Eaton and Fritz Shurmur in Laramie. His 2001 UW Athletics Hall of Fame plaque describes Bebout like this: "Quick, mobile and an overpowering blocker."
Bebout paved the way for running backs like Frosty Franklin, Forrest Franklin and Charles Shaw. Scott Freeman, Gary Fox and Steve Cockreham also benefited from the pocket thanks to the 6-foot, 5-inch, 261-pound tackle.
Wins didn't exactly rack up for Bebout and the Cowboys in the wake of the Black 14 scandal. Wyoming won just 10 games in his three seasons.
One game that did stick out is a 45-43 victory over the 11th-ranked Arizona Sun Devils in 1972. Six ASU players the following year were taken in the NFL draft. That was the highest-ranked team to ever fall to the Cowboys.
Bebout was drafted in the sixth round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He ended up on the expansion Seattle Seahawks in 1976, starting 54 games before wrapping up his career in Minnesota.
He owns the Left Tackle Bar & Lounge in Shoshoni.
Who else wore No. 71
Ed Phillips (T), Dave Ferguson (T), Pat Ogrin (DT), Steve Slay (OT), Ty Hopkins (DL), Shane Glasser (OT), Sean McGill (OT), Bill Bullert (OT), Dave Shipula (OT), Ryan Otterson (OL), Justin DiRe (OT), Austin Traphagan (OT), Erik Larrow (C), Jace Webb (OL), Carlos Harrison (OL), Glen Hopkins, Rich Troutwine (DL), Eric Glover (DT), Nick Patete (DL), Dan Borkowski
All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.