LARAMIE -- Cole Godbout is beginning his fifth year in Laramie this spring, yet he's still just a junior.

A redshirt year in 2018, along with a pandemic, are responsible for that.

We don't know much about the 6-foot-4, 285-pound nose guard from Wisconsin aside from the fact he registered 70 tackles last season, including a team-best five sacks. When it comes to interior linemen, those numbers stack up against some of the best in the country.

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Godbout had the second-most tackles, just two behind Joey Nobel of Mountain West foe, New Mexico. He ranked fourth in tackles per game with 5.4, behind just Nobel (6), Colorado State's Scott Patchan (5.8) and Elijah Garcia from Rice, who tallied 5.6.

You probably recognize Godbout as a hole-clogging run stopper. Or better yet, the guy with arguably the best sack dance in the nation as you can see 15 seconds into this video:

"Honestly, I think I was just messing around as a freshman and I was talking with a couple of my D-line buddies and we were just kind of saying what we're going to do," Godbout said with a subtle grin. "That's what everyone's doing when they're hitting the Cowboy Joe, and I bet you the fans will love it. Honestly, it just kind of stuck and they like it."

When Godbout -- pronounced Good-Bow -- is dancing, that typically means the Cowboys are winning. He has racked up at least half-a-quarterback sack in eight games. Wyoming is 7-1 in those contests.

Godbout said he likes to keep things professional in the presence of the media. He says he likes to be "locked in."

In the locker room, however, anything goes. Notorious for his humor and laid back nature, the former two-star recruit from Hudson High School is the prankster of the defensive tackle unit.

"No, that's not him at all," Jordan Bertagnole said when asked if Godbout is always quiet and reserved. "He's definitely a dude that's going to put his head down and work, but he's definitely a loud dude once you get to know him. I mean, in meetings, whether you're an older guy or a younger guy, he's always poking fun at you. I mean, you kind of just have to throw it back."

No one knows that tactic better than offensive tackle, Frank Crum.

Two of the elder statesmen on this young roster, Godbout and Crum have met in the trenches numerous times in practice throughout the last four seasons. Trash talk? Oh yeah, that happens. Maybe a little pushing and shoving? Take a guess.

"We get chippy with each other," Crum said, cracking a confident smile. "You talk the smack, but like I said, at the end of the day, everybody is cool. But it almost feels like it kind of fuels your day. When you're at practice, it's kind of fun, if you will. But it's never too serious. Nothing too personal."

Godbout agrees wholeheartedly.

"Those are all my brothers," he said. "As soon as you walk off the practice field, it's over, you know what I mean? Emotions are hot. Like, you're running hot. You always are also super competitive. So, we're always trying to win so we might get under each other's skin.

"But during practice, it's on -- for sure."

 

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When Godbout isn't driving signal callers into the turf, knocking running backs off their feet or cracking up his teammates, Godbout is an avid hunter. Ducks, his prey of choice. Pheasants also make the list. Deer? Come on, he said, it's way too cold in Wisconsin for that.

Godbout, admittedly, was always the first one back to the truck.

"(My dad, Dave Godbout) would always have, you know, the top-of-the-line stuff," he joked. "I kind of got the secondhand boots."

Maybe it was just payback for all that sleeping on the road.

"I guess I can just get comfortable easily," Godbout added. "Honestly, it's a great skill. I get sleep when I can."

If his NFL dreams don't pan out, it sounds like Godbout also has his next career already picked out, too. "I wish I could be a movie critic for IMDb, if I could," he said. "I'd kill it."

His favorites?

Shawshank Redemption, The Hobbit, and especially the Lord of the Rings series. "I think it gets a bad rap," he said. "They're great movies."

That profession will have to be put on hold. Craig Bohl needs Godbout to anchor a defensive front that has been hit hard by injuries and the NCAA Transfer portal. Ravontae Holt is coming off his third ACL tear. His future is unclear. Victor Jones is now playing at Akron. Claude Cole is gone, too.

Wyoming's head coach said when he has fielded his best defenses in Laramie, it has all started up front with names like Sidney Malauulu, Youhanna Ghaifan and Javaree Jackson. Godbout, he said, is on the brink of joining that list.

"He's one of these guys that owns his work," Bohl said. "He's really physically and gotten better. You know, you think when you watch him, you're looking for this quick-twitch kind of movement, like a water moccasin. That's not exactly the case, but he has been productive. He's done a really good job leading."

He's working on that, coach.

"I think I can improve in a lot of areas, just like my overall quickness to transition from pass to the rush," Godbout said. "I just want to be fast. I want to be in better shape, better condition, so I can play at a higher level for a longer time.

"... I want to be the best defensive tackle in this conference and in the country. I'm just going to do whatever I can to make it there."

UW vs. NIU September 11, 2021