Alabama Crimson Tide: Kendell Beckwith

SEC's lunch links

March, 24, 2014
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The talk around the SEC today is how three teams from the conference -- Florida, Kentucky and Tennesse -- reached the round of 16 in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. And this was supposed to be a down year for the league.

But we're here to discuss football. Let's take a look at what's happening around the league:

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee says Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall is talented enough to play the position in the NFL.

LSU linebacker Kendell Beckwith is relishing his new role after playing defensive end as a freshman.

Now healthy, quarterback Brandon Allen is preparing for a position battle at Arkansas.

Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell -- attempting to return from a torn ACL from last season -- suffered another injury last week, although the Bulldogs' medical staff says he'll be back in time for August practices.

South Carolina offensive lineman Na'Ty Rodgers could face suspension after his alcohol-related arrest from early Sunday.

The defense had the edge in Vanderbilt's spring scrimmage on Saturday.

Alabama's players like what new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is teaching thus far.

Jeff Driskel looked sharp working with the first-team offense in Florida's practice on Saturday, according to the Gainesville Sun's Robbie Andreu.

With Missouri's team on spring break, here is a spring practice reset from the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Editor's note: This week, GeauxTigerNation and TideNation will examine all aspects of the LSU-Alabama rivalry during the Nick Saban-Les Miles era. Today's stories focus on the past and future of the schools' recruiting battles.

The LSU-Alabama rivalry extends well beyond the football field. Since Nick Saban took over the Tide, he and Tigers coach Les Miles have clashed in some epic recruiting battles. Through that, both coaches have learned that you can’t get everybody on your wish list, regardless of ties or proximity.

Here’s a list of five prospects who got away from Alabama and five who got away from LSU in what has become one of the nation's top recruiting rivalries.

Five who got away from Alabama:

WR Chris Tolliver, 2008 (Rayville, La./Rayville): It was a classic Tide-Tigers battle for Tolliver, the nation's No. 11 wide receiver. He took official visits to Alabama and LSU in consecutive weeks right before he made his decision. Although he chose to stay in state, the Tide were able to steal his teammate and fellow wide receiver Kenny Bell the following year.

SEC recruiting primer

February, 6, 2013
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ESPN RecruitingNation has signing day covered. Follow ESPNU’s coverage, chat with analysts and get breaking news on our Signing Day Live page beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET through 7 p.m. ET. For more on what to expect on signing day, check out the SEC conference breakdown Insider.

Bold Prediction for the SEC:

Ole Miss' class will eventually be ranked in the top five nationally with the addition of No. 1 overall prospect Robert Nkemdiche from Loganville (Ga.) Grayson and possibly ESPN 150 prospects Chris Jones from Houston (Miss.) High and Antonio Conner from Batesville (Miss.) South Panola.

SEC East

Florida
Biggest need: Florida wants immediate help at defensive tackle. Jarran Reed from Scooba (Miss.) East should be able to provide that if he decides to sign with the Gators on national signing day.
Biggest recruit: The Gators have two five-star commitments: cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III from Tampa (Fla.) Wharton and running back Kelvin Taylor from Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades. No other school in the country can say that.

Georgia
Biggest need: The Bulldogs would like to pick up another top offensive lineman. They looked destined to land Laremy Tunsil from Lake City (Fla.), but the competition has heated up for him lately.
Biggest recruit: With 12 ESPN 300 commitments, Georgia has plenty of star power. However, it's impossible to overvalue the commitment of Brice Ramsey from Kingsland (Ga.) Camden, a quarterback the Bulldogs can build around.

(Read full post)

No matter position, Beckwith a huge 'get' 

January, 4, 2013
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Where Kendell Beckwith will make an impact on the football field for LSU is an interesting question to ponder.

An “athlete” in the scout lexicon, the ESPN 150 prospect who committed to the Tigers tonight might be a linebacker in the Tiger’s 4-3 scheme … or he might bulk up and come off the edge as a pass-rushing defensive end, in the Barkevious Mingo mold.

[+] EnlargeKendell Beckwith
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comThe nation's No. 2 athlete, four-star recruit Kendell Beckwith says he'd likely feel most at home at linebacker in college.
His impact on LSU’s recruiting class, however, is unquestionable. Simply put, getting Beckwith is huge for the Tigers for a number of reasons:

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Beckwith assures no family fireworks 

January, 1, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The scenario seems strangely familiar. A top-ranked Louisiana prospect will make a decision between Alabama and LSU at the Under Armour All-America Game, which will be televised live at 5 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Last year, Landon Collins' decision to go to Alabama made for compelling television as his mother, sitting with him during the live announcement, clearly did not approve of his choice.

ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) says not to expect any drama this year, as his family will be happy with whichever school he chooses.

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Beckwith down to LSU, Alabama 

December, 21, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Clinton, La./East Feliciana) visited Alabama in early December, then got a home visit later in the month from LSU head coach Les Miles.

If it sounds like a two-horse race, Beckwith said as much Thursday.

"I may visit other schools," he said. "But it's a two-team race."

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Bama impresses Beckwith on official visit 

December, 10, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- This weekend, the University of Alabama had its last chance to impress ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) before he makes his decision between the Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers at the Under Armour All-America Game next month as Beckwith took his official visit to Tuscaloosa.

“The visit went real well,” he said. “It was great. I always enjoy it when I’m down there. There’s always something that stands out. The highlight this time was just hanging out with those players, hanging out with O.J. [Howard] and them, and just seeing how cool those guys are. I could really see myself being around them for the next four years.”

It was the first time Beckwith had met Howard, but the two clicked right away and ended up spending the whole weekend together.

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Weekend Rewind: Alabama 

December, 10, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For the first time since early October, the University of Alabama had a weekend without a football game, and it gave the Crimson Tide coaching staff a chance to host a group of official visitors.

The most notable visitor was ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana), ranked No. 19 overall. The Louisiana native has narrowed down his list to Alabama and LSU and plans to make a decision in January at the Under Armour All-America Game. He enjoyed his official visit to UA over the weekend.

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O.J. Howard talks official visit to Bama 

December, 9, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- ESPN 150 tight end O.J. Howard (Prattville, Ala./Autauga Academy) isn’t far from the University of Alabama. Since he committed more than a year ago, he has made plenty of trips to Tuscaloosa. On the weekend, he took his first and only official visit to UA.

“It went well,” Howard said. “You only take one official, and it went well. I really enjoyed it. Overall, it was a very productive weekend.

“We went to eat at Coach’s house a couple times. Then we got to go ride four-wheelers and stuff like that. We got to go out with some of the players. We did an academic tour, toured the campus, the facilities, the football facilities, the locker room, the stadium. It was just stuff that makes you feel like you’re at home. It was fun.”

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#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 16

November, 16, 2012
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Alvin Kamara, Derrick GreenESPN.comUncommitted 2013 running backs Alvin Kamara and Derrick Green.

ESPN 100 running backs Alvin Kamara and Derrick Green can score from anywhere on the field thanks to their breakaway speed, an attribute that makes them very attractive recruits to the Oregon Ducks. Oregon's pursuit of the duo headlines this week’s #BlueChipBattles. Insider

Click through for our list to rank the top 10 recruiting battlesInsider.

Weekend Rewind: Alabama 

November, 12, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama came up short on the field against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M on Saturday, but off the field, the Crimson Tide enjoyed a successful weekend with a number of top recruits in town for the game. It was the Tide’s biggest recruiting weekend of the season to date.

The most notable visitor in Tuscaloosa was five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), who was accompanied by his mother on the trip. From all accounts, the visit went great and bolstered the Tide’s chances with the ESPN 150 star. Tunsil recently named Alabama and Georgia as his top two schools.

During the weekend, UA hosted just two official visitors: a pair of ESPN 150 tight ends, Hunter Henry (Little Rock, Ark./Pulaski) and Josh McNeil (Durham, N.C./Milford Academy). McNeil is already committed to the Tide, but for Henry, an Arkansas commitment, the trip gave him something to think about.

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#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 9

November, 9, 2012
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Max Redfield, Leon McQuayTom Hauck for ESPN.comMax Redfield is out at USC -- is Leon McQuay in?
Think USC was left reeling after Max Redfield (left) decommitted this week? Not really. The Trojans appear to be zeroing in on Leon McQuay III (right). And then there's the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Robert Nkemdiche, who decommitted Thursday. It's an open market in this week’s #BlueChipBattles Insider.

You can also rank the battles this week in SportsNation.

The O-zone: ESPN 150 visitors 

November, 8, 2012
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TideNation brings you another edition of The O-zone, a confidential look inside Alabama recruiting. Get the latest updates from the gridiron and the hardwood as it pertains to the Crimson Tide.

Five-star visitor

Alabama is set to host the biggest recruiting weekend of the season for Saturday’s Texas A&M game. Prospects from all over are making their way to Tuscaloosa, maybe none bigger than five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. The nation’s No. 1 tackle is visiting with friends and fellow Florida natives Derrick Henry and DeMarcus Walker, both of whom are already committed to the Tide. Tunsil is thought to be favoring Alabama and Georgia, and a positive visit this weekend could push the Tide to the top. He’s still expected to take his official visit to UA after the season, and he doesn’t plan to make a decision until signing day. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman is a top priority for Alabama.

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Recruiting recap: Alabama at LSU Free

November, 5, 2012
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In Death Valley and beyond, ESPN RecruitingNation reporters tracked down the prospects who witnessed Alabama's win Saturday night at LSU. Here's a recap of the players' reactions so far Insider:

RB Scarborough solid to Bama after LSU hurdles: 2014's Bo Scarborough, a Crimson Tide commit, ran into logistical problems during his visit to Death Valley.

WR Quinn: Mettenberger looked like NFL QB: Louisiana's leading prep receiver from Lake Charles, La./Barbe and a member of the ESPN Watch List for the 2014 signing class also enjoyed meeting a former Tigers standout.

CB Tony Brown applauds Bama, LSU: The ESPN Watch List cornerback called Saturday’s clash of SEC powers "one of the best games I’ve ever been to."

RB Fournette surprised by Bama's play call: Two of Leonard Fournette's top schools, Alabama and LSU, came down to the final minute -- and a a screen play executed to perfection by the Crimson Tide.

Desean Smith liked Nic Jacobs' wrinkle: "I got to talk to [LSU tight ends coach Steve Ensminger] at the end and I told him I liked the way they used the tight ends," Smith said.

Watch List WR Dupre excited by LSU: The 6-foot-3 target couldn't help noticing Zach Mettenberger's explosion for 298 yards and a touchdown with a 68 percent completion rate.

QB commit Rettig: LSU is 'right place': While the Tigers took Saturday's setback hard, Rettig was feeling the emotions with them during his visit.

DT Rod Crayton narrows list to four: The three-star prospect said his top schools currently include Arkansas, LSU, Penn State and Tennessee.

Kendell Beckwith likes 'crazy' Death Valley: "I never thought it could get much crazier at night in Tiger Stadium than it was for South Carolina. ... I thought I had seen it as bad as it could get as far as the fans go, but this game, man. They were crazy as far as hollering. Just all night. I see why it's hard for teams to come in there and win."

ESPN 300 prospects Neal, Herron love visits: Both are commits; Herron, a DL, emailed: "It was great. That was my first game and I feel that I can play right away."

DL Tim Williams: 'It was Alabama loud': The target says Death Valley's game atmosphere is why people want to play for the Tigers.

LB Tre Williams talks Bama-LSU: The 2014 target says he knew LSU had the ability to give Alabama a game if they proved mentally ready.

DT LaCouture pledges to LSU during visit: Formerly committed to his hometown Nebraska Cornhuskers, LaCouture became LSU's 24th commit while in Baton Rouge with his mother.

Players who didn't make it to the game still had opinions to share as well:

Watch List CB Hardeman happy with LSU: "The secondary played ball out there. Jalen Mills is a true freshman, but he’s been playing real well. From top to bottom, the guys stepped up."

Race of 3 for DL Justin Manning?: Manning, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound lineman, has been considered an Oklahoma lean for months, as his brother, DeMarcus Granger, played defensive tackle for the Sooners from 2006 to 2009.

Four-star S Tahaan Goodman stays patient: It pained Goodman to postpone the trip, but that, "Me and Priest Willis (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos de Niza) are still going to head out to Louisiana, but just on a different weekend."

Weekend Rewind: Alabama 

November, 5, 2012
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The rubber match between Alabama and LSU took place Saturday, and the game certainly lived up to the hype. The Crimson Tide put together a late drive to come back and steal a victory in Death Valley. Despite the loss, the game gave LSU a chance to host some of the nation’s top recruits in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes.

The game was obviously big for ESPN 150 stars Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) and Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory), who both have Alabama and LSU at the top of their lists, but a pair of ESPN Watch List stars from the state of Alabama had two very different experiences in Baton Rouge over the weekend.

Linebacker Tre Williams (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s), who has offers from the Tide and the Tigers, had a great time at the game. He said he wasn’t surprised with how well LSU played, and he was happy just to see a good football game. More than anything, he was impressed with the record crowd inside Death Valley.

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