It was one of the most memorable defensive plays in BYU football history.
On Sept. 5, 2009, the Cougars were facing No. 3 Oklahoma in Cowboys Stadium to start the season. The Sooners were heavy favorites, led by quarterback Sam Bradford, who had won the coveted Heisman Trophy in 2008.
Late in the first half of a low-scoring defensive struggle, Bradford was leading an Oklahoma drive when BYU dialed up a blitz that resulted in senior linebacker Coleby Clawson breaking through the Sooner line untouched.
He introduced himself to Bradford by driving him forcefully into the ground just as the Oklahoma quarterback released the ball.
Bradford suffered an ACL sprain in his shoulder and never returned, while the Cougars went on to stun Oklahoma, 14-13.
Now that former BYU athlete who is most remembered in college football for a play that resulted in an injury is focused on rehabilitating injuries at the Community Rehabilitation Clinic (CRC), a non-profit 501 (C)(3) charitable organizations in Provo run by the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Foundation.
In two years in Provo, Clawson tallied 118 tackles (57 solo) as well as nine sacks, 19.5 tackles for a loss, nine quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He was a steady performer who had at least five tackles in 14 of the 26 games he played in while wearing the blue-and-white.
His path to his current position, however, began when his playing days ended.
“When I finished playing, I worked in the weight room under BYU strength and conditioning coach Jay Omer for about a year,” Clawson said in a teleconference last week. “I was finishing up some courses and I was trying to decide between going to medical school and becoming a strength and conditioning coach. I felt like becoming a physical therapist landed in the middle of that.”
He went to Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) to learn physical therapy, which was fairly new at that time. It ended up being a doorway to new possibilities.
“I was in their second cohort that went through,” Clawson said. “About a year after I graduated, the university contacted me and asked if I would come and run this pro-bono clinic, which was set at the end of 2014, beginning of 2015.”
Clawson has been the CRC director for the last five years as he has worked with patients with a variety of physical and economic needs.
“I’ve just been working the last five years to make the clinic known and try to create a good reputation here,” Clawson said. “It went from being a one-man band here to having grown a lot. Over the years we’ve been able to help thousands of patients who are indigent or low-income or just down on their luck a little bit.”
In addition to his work as the clinic director, Clawson is also a home health physical therapist and an assistant faculty member in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at RMUoHP.
According to his bio on the school website, he is “currently completing his DSc degree in Human and Sports Performance from RMUoHP. Coleby’s professional and academic interests include orthopedic and sports physical therapy, geriatric physical therapy, and strength and conditioning programs and athletes and older adults. Outside of his professional interests, his hobbies and interests include outdoor recreation, sports, and spending time with his wife, Breanna, and their four children.”