With an extra year of experience under his belt, Geneseo graduate and Green Machine alum Collin DeBuysere is set to make his senior year with the Northwest Missouri State University football team his best.
“I am really excited for the season and for the guys to come together,” said DeBuysere, an outside linebacker on the team. “I’ve been doing a lot of hard work and I want to go out with a bang.”
Even before his collegiate football career began, DeBuysere, a standout hockey player, had every intention of playing college hockey until he made a visit to Northwest Missouri State in?Maryville, Mo.
“I was all set to play hockey, but I took a visit to the school for football and the campus really reminded me of what I loved in Geneseo,” he said. “It was a small town and the football program was like Geneseo. It felt comfortable, which made it really easy to transition.”
After heading to Northwest Missouri?State, DeBuysere’s career got off to a bit of slow start, but was able to learn the system and what it took to be successful in college.
“It was a learning experience from high school. It is a whole different ball game and there is a learning curve,” he said. “I had to feel things out and then, last year, I got comfortable with the system. Even though my career started off slow, I am having a blast.”
DeBuysere’s first season with the Bearcats was in 2008 and he was redshirted.
“When the coaches recruited me they told me this is the way it is and that I would redshirt my first year,” said DeBuysere. “They told me I needed to put on weight, learn the system and it may take a while to get into the swing of things.
“Obviously, being a college athlete working hard and not going out on Saturday and playing is hard, but at the same time those guys that are out there where there before me. You realize there are ways to get to that playing level and understand you have to prepare more and finally your time will come.”
In 2009, DeBuysere saw action in three games where he made three assisted tackles.
During the 2010 season, he played in 14 games and totaled 18 tackles (7 solo, 11 assisted). He also had 1.5 tackles for a loss of 7 yards.
For DeBuysere, his breakout year was the 2011 season where he started in 10 out of 13 games played and accumulated 73 tackles (39 solo, 34 assisted), which ranked him third on the team. He added 5.5 tackles for a loss of 16 yards and 2.5 sacks for a loss of 10 yards.
“I finally got that comfort and everyone on the team was clicking,” he said. “In previous years I was on special teams, but not in a full contribution role so it is safe to say this was my break out year.”
Page 2 of 3 - One highlight of his time with the Bearcats so far has been being able to play at Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The most difficult time for DeBuysere and the rest of his teammates was when head coach Scott Bostwick suddenly passed away in June 2011. He had just been named the head coach in December of 2010.
“With him gone, there were transitions, and we had a lot of guys transferring at that time,” said DeBuysere. “I remember looking at the guys and thinking we will get through this and work through it.?It was a difficult time, but it is important to go through it and come out the way we did.”
DeBuysere said the No. 1 focus and the biggest thing in college football is good fundamentals.
“Fundamentals are huge,” he said. “A lot of times, with high school ball, you can run to where you want or overpower someone, but not have the best technique. However, if you are not fundamentally sound in college you can’t do the moves you want to. In college, you have a lot of guys who were the best players in high school all on one team and you are no longer the big man on campus, you are not hot stuff.?It is a learning experience.”
As DeBuysere continues to prepare for his senior season, he and his teammates are grinding out their summer workouts and trying to stay motivated.
“It is easy to get frustrated when you are only working out, but we are trying to keep a high energy level and keep focus,” he said. “We have a goal and purpose and we try to stay focused on that.”
His hard work, dedication and determination has definitely not gone unnoticed as DeBuysere was named one of the captains for the 2012 team.
“It is a huge honor, especially at a school like this with the record we have,” he said. “For the guys to name me a captain is something I didn’t expect at all. It is a very cool honor to lead this team and see where we go.”
When DeBuysere reflects on his time on the field with the Green?Machine he said the biggest thing that helped him at the college level is the discipline Geneseo taught him on and off the field.
“I definitely needed that,” he said. “There are a lot of times when things aren’t going your way, especially when I came in as a redshirt, but it takes that discipline to continue and work hard. Geneseo football ingrained in my head that you have to have discipline and maintain good character. I took those qualities with me, and I don’t know if I would have made it through those times without it.”
Page 3 of 3 - Even though things might not have necessarily gone the way DeBuysere had planned, he still has no regrets.
“Heck no, I wouldn’t change a thing. My teammates are friends for life,” he said.
“Certainly there were times where I thought about maybe focusing on my degree and hanging my cleats up to focus on the next aspect of my life, but there was always a little voice in my head, and getting a little taste made it hard to walk away.
“I am very happy with my experience.?I learned a lot and a lot about myself. It is a very cool experience.”
As the 2012 season gets ready to open on Aug. 30 against East Central, Okla., DeBuysere has high hopes for himself and his team.
“I am looking forward to being on the field with some of the other guys who I have been playing for five years and the experience,” said DeBuysere. “I am looking forward to sharing this experience with my family and friends and enjoying my senior season.”