The Kansas State football program has seen extraordinary talent don the distinct K-State purple and silver uniforms.    

Cooper Beebe, a Kansas City, Kansas native, came into college hoping if he worked hard enough, he might be able to get to participate in a couple of snaps. Five years after enrolling at Kansas State University, he is in Ring of Honor conversations – an honor only a handful of K-State football players have achieved.   

The four-year starting left tackle will leave a Big 12 champion, multiple-time first team Big 12 and a slew of other honors.  He also will leave a legacy of giving back to the community that helped grow him into the top NFL draft prospect he is today.    

Big Man, Big Nutrition

When thinking about what makes someone a great lineman, “big” always comes to mind. Beebe is listed as 6' 4" and over 300 lbs. He is a BIG man. 

However, there are some misconceptions when it comes to what being a big man means, especially in the nutrition realm. Beebe spoke about how the Cats football team take regular body composition tests to ensure they are becoming the right kind of big.    

Nutrition plays a big role in hitting goals both in body composition and on the field. High-quality protein is essential to any athlete, especially when their job is to protect a teammate from charging opponents. Beebe says beef plays a significant role in his diet when it comes to hitting his daily protein intake goal.   

Among beef’s powerful package of 10 essential nutrients, protein may be one of the most notable. One 3-ounce cooked serving of beef provides 50% of your daily value (25 grams) of this important macronutrient – making it an excellent source.   

“It is not necessarily how much food you eat,” he stated. “It is the kinds of foods you eat. Foods with a big amount of protein is where us big guys live. High-protein options, like beef, help us power our bodies to get to where we need to be.”   

Athletes must be great both on and off the field. This includes getting the small things – like diet and nutrition – right, so they can be confident in making the big plays on the field.

Beef's Top 10 Breakdown Infographic
Offensive Lineman Cooper Beebe uses beef to power his success

Offensive Lineman Cooper Beebe fuels with beef

Go-to Man

Beebe exemplifies the notion of “you are what you eat” by mirroring the versatility of beef, which stands out as one of the most adaptable proteins available. He has emerged as one of the most versatile draft prospects. Just as beef caters to diverse tastes and occasions, Beebe’s flexibility on the field positions him as a standout player capable of adapting and excelling in various roles.   

Versatility is an important quality to offensive lineman draft prospects looking at the next steps. Beebe explained when there are only 53 active roster spots, each NFL team is looking to pick players who can make game-time adjustments to various positions.   

Despite playing multiple positions, Beebe showed his dominance on the line by only allowing one sack in his last two seasons while primarily playing left tackle and even recording a defensive solo tackle against Baylor in 2023.   

“When I got [to Kansas State], I wanted to play at defensive tackle, but they moved me,” he said. “I was just hoping to see the field at some point in my career.”   With his mindset of doing what is needed for his team to succeed, it makes sense why he was voted twice to be a team captain. He exemplifies leadership on and off the field. “I have been very fortunate,” he said, reflecting on his storybook career.

Cooper Beebe with Chain KState Offensive Lineman

Bigger than himself

In 2022, Beebe was crowned Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year for a second year, helped defeat the eventual CFP runners-up for the Big 12 title and also was awarded a slew of other All-American honors. He easily could have declared for the NFL draft, gotten a nice payday and moved on to the next career stage. 

However, he stayed. But it was not just him. He convinced the rest of the offensive line starters that they should suit up one last time and bring back the beef.    

Offensive lines are typically not celebrated as much as the K-State Beef, but Beebe appreciates all the fan support of the group.   

“It has been amazing how much [the K-State Beef nickname] has exploded and the support from the fans has been huge,” he said. “Usually, the only time you hear about the O-line is when we do something bad. So, to get the love and appreciation from the fans is a great feeling and we really appreciate that.”   

The K-State Beef name quickly took hold of K-State fans, and they demanded a way for them to show love to the guys who protect the quarterback.   

The Kansas Beef Council teamed up with Wildcat NIL to give the fans what they wanted. K-State Beef Offensive Line apparel was made available for purchase in August 2023. However, the offensive line are not the only people reaping the benefits of this collaboration.    

For every one item sold, one pound of ground beef was donated to local Manhattan food banks. Fresh protein options are typically missing from the shelves of these community resources, and each pound of ground beef donated provides four servings of high-quality protein.   

“Having access to healthy proteins and meats is special for our guests and something they are really going to appreciate,” Karla Hagemeister, executive director of the Flint Hills Breadbasket, said.   

The ability to give back to the community Beebe called home the last five years was a highlight of a remarkable K-State career.   

“As student-athletes, you’re not just a person. You’re a part of the community, and it has been great to give back,” he said.   

The K-State Beef was able to provide over 4,500 servings of beef to Riley County residents. However, Beebe hopes that it does not stop there.  

“The O-line, we have a standard and a way we do things as a program. You are a part of something bigger than what you are. You’re more than a football player. My hope is the younger guys continue to give back to the community and continue that tradition,” he said. 

Kstate beef donating beefThe BEEF donating ground beef

Beebe bites

Want to fuel like K-State All-Time Great Cooper Beebe? Here are a few ideas:   

According to Beebe, burgers and football just go together. His family constantly would serve them at different sporting events growing up.   

“Hamburgers are our go-to and one of my favorite dishes,” he said.  

Ribeye steaks are Beebe’s favorite for when he wants something a little higher end. However, do not be surprised if he is seen eating a Tomahawk steak after being officially drafted into the NFL. He explained that this luxury cut is something he likes when he is not living on a college kid’s budget.   

Beebe was the king of pancakes during his career. Beef Sausage is a great option to have alongside a hot stack of flapjacks to honor the legacy Cooper will leave on the Wildcat program.

Spicy Cheeseburger Sliders
Ribeye Steaks and Seasoned Vegetable Kabobs
Cooked Beef Sausage
Offensive Lineman Cooper Beebe fuels for success with beef

Learn how to fuel like a pro



Learn More



Learn More

FY23 BIWFD Recipes, Sizzling Asian Stir Fry


Learn More