For three years, Beau Bisharat kept his dream alive of becoming a featured running back for the Colorado Buffaloes.
That dream was never realized, but as the senior approaches the end of his college football career, he’s enjoying the role he plays for the Buffs (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12).
“I kind of worked my way into being more of like a workhorse that just kind of does whatever the staff needs me to do, which I take pride in that,” said Bisharat, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior who shifted to tight end last spring and has been one of the best special teams players in recent CU history. “Not a lot of people can do that just because it’s not … I don’t get all the glory. I don’t get all the praise.”
There were expectations of glory and praise when Bisharat graduated from Jesuit High School in Sacramento. He was a four-star recruit with scholarship offers from more than 20 schools, including 10 in the Pac-12.
Bisharat’s career numbers at CU – 57 rushing attempts for 249 yards; three catches for 12 yards and a touchdown – haven’t matched the hype, but he’s made an impact with the Buffs.
“All these people saying, ‘Oh, he didn’t do anything here; he was a big four-star flop,’ whatever they want to say, that’s fine,” Bisharat said. “But I’ve kind of taken pride in being the guy that does the dirty work and I don’t need praise. I don’t need interviews. I don’t need any of this stuff. I like to work hard. I like to play hard for my teammates, play hard for my coaches.
“I’ve never really been about the hype. Even when I was getting recruited, I mean, it was cool, but … that’s not why I did it. It’s not why I love playing the game of football.”
Bisharat has been one of the best pure football players on the team throughout his career and put his team-first attitude on display this spring. First-year head coach Mel Tucker thought Bisharat could help the Buffs more at tight end than at running back, so Bisharat made the move.
“In the spring, it was tough,” said Bisharat, who has been named a captain for two of the Buffs’ games this season. “And then I got hurt and I messed my knee up, so I was out for the rest of the spring.”
Bisharat kept pushing and learned to play tight end. He didn’t play a single snap on offense in the first three games, but has since worked his way into the No. 2 spot, behind Brady Russell. When the Buffs go to two tight-end sets, it’s usually Russell and Bisharat on the field.
“In spring ball, he was all over the place,” tight ends coach Al Pupunu said. “He’s gotten better with his technique and his effort. It makes it a lot easier to coach. He loves to compete.
“I like his attitude; his can-do attitude, his competitiveness. That’s what I love about him. He’s willing to work hard and do what it takes, no matter what the situation is, or whatever your role is. He’s always going to be there and he’s always going to work hard.”
Bisharat has produced several key blocks on offense, while continuing to shine on special teams.
CU has a point system for special teams, rewarding players for a tackles, knockdown blocks, forced fair catches and a variety of other positive plays. Bisharat has a team-high 23 special teams points, putting him on pace to lead the team for the third year in a row.
CU began tracking special teams points in 1987 and Bisharat ranks second with 93 career points (Ryan Sutter had 123 from 1994-97).
“I believe that he has tremendous value because he is a good special teams player, and he’s really smart and he can play multiple positions,” Tucker said.
Bisharat is hoping that versatility leads to an opportunity in the NFL and Pupunu doesn’t put it past him to get that shot.
“Really what it comes down to is if you can play special teams, and he can play special teams, so that’ll help him out,” said Pupunu, who played nine years in the NFL. “Now he’s just got to find a system (in the NFL) that would allow him to be successful at that.”
Bisharat has found success at CU, even if it’s not how he envisioned his career playing out. With two games remaining, Bisharat is aiming for more wins, but on a personal level, he has no regrets about his move to tight end and feels better about his opportunity for a future in the game.
“I think I’ve put myself in a position to get a chance to play at the next level and play special teams and be a utility guy at that level,” he said. “It’s been a childhood dream for everybody in there that the end goal is always to make it all the way there and it’s not even about the money for me. It’s just about the fact that I just want to say, ‘All right, I finished what I started when I was seven years old.’”