Super Bowl: Meet the Beadles
Newark, N.J. • The Hillcrest Huskies were losing in the third inning, and Zane Beadles wanted the baseball.
Never mind that the 6-foot-4, 275-pound high school senior had pitched seven innings two days before.
"I loved to pitch and have the ball in my hand and have control over the game," Beadles said during the Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day.
He expressed a similar thought after Denver's AFC divisional playoff win over San Diego in mid-January, when Beadles and the offense sustained a late drive and preserved their lead. The Broncos ended the game in control, with the ball in their hands.
So an athlete who was known to stop and help opponents after knocking them down in Junior Jazz basketball games and was viewed as possibly too kind to play college football has brought his more aggressive baseball approach to the NFL. He's thriving as an offensive guard who protects the league's least-sacked quarterback, achieving professional success that's only part of his own story.
"Football doesn't define him," said his father, Brad Beadles.
Winning the Super Bowl is not among Beadles' lifetime goals that include a charitable foundation (launched) and postgraduate education (to come). He's as multidimensional as any professional athlete could be, as shown by his academic pursuits at the University of Utah and his community involvement.
Beadles also keeps improving as a football player, partly because he's fully devoted to his job, without worrying about mechanical engineering. At Utah, he often would attend project meetings with ice packs strapped to his knees after practice, while never mentioning football unless someone asked him.
"He was there to be a student," said professor Don Bloswick, who wanted to have more football discussions with Beadles. "I wish we had more students like him."
Hillcrest students, teachers and coaches enjoyed him just as much. Kirk Merhish, who coached the Huskies' offensive line, said, "You're never going to find anyone saying he was a jerk to them."
That may include opponents, which was problematic. Merhish and Beadles' father, who helped coached him, invented ways to upset him, making him appropriately aggressive. Even when Utah coach Kyle Whittingham asked about Beadles, Merhish told him, "He's just kind of a nice kid."
He also was athletic enough to play for Hillcrest's basketball team and steal bases on the diamond. "People would look at him and say, 'He can't run,' " said Gary Daniels, his coach. "He probably could have played college baseball, if he really wanted to."
Beadles loved baseball so much that he cried in the dugout after a state tournament defeat ended his career, even after he signed to play football for Utah. Following a redshirt year in 2005, he started 50 games in four seasons for the Utes, contributing to four bowl victories (including the Sugar Bowl) and becoming an All-American and the Mountain West Conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The Broncos drafted him in the second round in 2010, and he's started 62 of 64 regular-season games. In the NFL, he's become mean enough to succeed, while making his intelligence work in his favor.
"He's so damn smart," said Dave Magazu, the Broncos' line coach. "If I say anything wrong, he's there to get me squared away."
Beadles will become a free agent after the Super Bowl and would prefer to stay with the Broncos, but will seek "a fair deal," he said.
Denver's location is ideal for Beadles' family; his mother, Jamie, and stepfather, Wyoming women's basketball coach Joe Legerski, live within 150 miles.
His father and stepmother, Jill, are in Sandy.
Part of the Zane Beadles Parade Foundation's mission is helping children affected by divorce, although his own experience effectively gave him an extra set of supportive parents. He's also driven to assist children with cancer after meeting Ryker Fox, a 7-year-old who died in 2007, shortly after the boy's wishes of being involved with the Ute football team were fulfilled.
"That had a big effect on me," Beadles said.
And that's among the reasons Beadles will have more to accomplish in life, even if he becomes a Super Bowl champion Sunday.
Utah preps in the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl history of former Utah high school players, listed on the game-day active roster:
Super Bowl Player High School College Position Team Result
X Golden Richards Granite BYU/Hawaii WR Dallas Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17
XII Golden Richards Granite BYU/Hawaii WR Dallas Dallas 27, Denver 10
XVII Mat Mendenhall East BYU DE Washington Washington 27, Miami 17
XVII Steve Clark Skyline Utah DL Miami Washington 27, Miami 17
XVII Bruce Hardy Bingham Arizona State TE Miami Washington 27, Miami 17
XIX Steve Clark Skyline Utah DL Miami San Francisco 38, Miami 16
XIX Bruce Hardy Bingham Arizona State TE Miami San Francisco 38, Miami 16
XX Jim McMahon Roy BYU QB Chicago Chicago 46, New England 10
XX Art Plunkett Skyline UNLV OT New England Chicago 46, New England 10
XXI Rulon Jones Weber Utah State DE Denver N.Y. Giants 39, Denver 20
XXII Rulon Jones Weber Utah State DE Denver Washington 42, Denver 10
XXV Hal Garner Logan Utah State LB Buffalo N.Y. Giants 20, Buffalo 19
XXVI Hal Garner Logan Utah State LB Buffalo Washington 37, Buffalo 24
XXIX Alfred Pupunu South Weber State TE San Diego San Francisco 49, San Diego 26
XXXI Jim McMahon Roy BYU QB Green Bay Green Bay 35, New England 21
XXXIII Travis Hall West Jordan BYU DT Atlanta Denver 34, Atlanta 19
XXXIV Kevin Dyson Clearfield Utah WR Tennessee St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16
XXXVII Barry Sims Park City Utah OT Oakland Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21
XXXVII Doug Jolley Dixie BYU TE Oakland Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21
XXXVII Junior Ioane North Sanpete Arizona State DT Oakland Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21
XXXVIII Kevin Dyson Clearfield Utah WR Carolina New England 32, Carolina 29
XXXIX Reno Mahe Brighton BYU RB Philadelphia New England 24, Philadelphia 20
XL Andre Dyson Clearfield Utah DB Seattle Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10
XLVII Paul Kruger Timpanogos Utah LB Baltimore Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31
XLVII Haloti Ngata Highland Oregon DT Baltimore Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31
XLVII Will Tukuafu East Oregon FB San Francisco Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31
Utah Utes in the Super Bowl
Former University of Utah players on Super Bowl game-day active rosters:
Bowl Player Pos. Team Result
I Marv Fleming WR Green Bay Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10
II Marv Fleming WR Green Bay Green Bay 33, Oakland 14
V Roy Jefferson WR Baltimore Baltimore 16, Dallas 13
VI Marv Fleming WR Miami Dallas 24, Miami 3
VI Manny Fernandez DT Miami Dallas 24, Miami 3
VII Marv Fleming WR Miami Miami 14, Washington 7
VII Manny Fernandez DT Miami Miami 14, Washington 7
VII Roy Jefferson WR Washington Miami 14, Washington 7
VIII Marv Fleming WR Miami Miami 24, Minnesota 7
VIII Manny Fernandez DT Miami Miami 24, Minnesota 7
XVII Steve Clark OT Miami Washington 27, Miami 17
XIX Steve Clark OT Miami San Fran 38, Miami 16
XIX Carl Monroe RB San Fran San Fran 38, Miami 16
XXIII Del Rodgers RB San Fran San Fran 20, Cincinnati 16
XXXIII Jamal Anderson RB Atlanta Denver 34, Atlanta 19
XXXIV Kevin Dyson WR Tennessee St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16
XXXV Anthony Davis LB Baltimore Baltimore 34, N.Y. Giants 7
XXXVII Barry Sims OG Oakland Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21
XXXVIII Kevin Dyson WR Carolina New England 32, Carolina 29
XXXVIII Jordan Gross OT Carolina New England 32, Carolina 29
XXXVIII Steve Smith WR Carolina New England 32, Carolina 29
XL Andre Dyson DB Seattle Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10
XLIII Chris Kemoeatu OG Pittsburgh Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23
XLV Chris Kemoeatu OG Pittsburgh Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25
XLV Stevenson Sylvester LB Pittsburgh Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25
XLVII Ma'ake Kemoeatu DT Baltimore Baltimore 34, San Fran 31
XLVII Paul Kruger LB Baltimore Baltimore 34, San Fran 31
XLVII David Reed WR Baltimore Baltimore 34, San Fran 31
XLVII Alex Smith QB San Fran Baltimore 34, San Fran 31
More than football
Zane Beadles' five lifetime goals:
• Establish a charitable foundation
• Use his NCAA postgraduate scholarship
• Travel the world
• Become a good husband and father
• Own a business
Seattle vs. San Francisco
Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
TV: Ch. 13
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