BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU sophomore Kendell Beckwith described himself as “the happiest man ever” when he learned that the Tigers’ coaching staff planned to move him from defensive end to linebacker this spring.
After completing his second practice backing up senior D.J. Welter at middle linebacker, Beckwith discussed the position change and what he needs to improve with a group of beat reporters.
Here is a portion of that conversation:
Q: How has move to linebacker been so far?
A: I came in as a linebacker and moved to the D-line. I mean, it wasn’t that bad. Moving back to linebacker, it wasn’t as bad as people would think it would be. I don’t know. I try to base my play off being as athletic as possible anyway, so going back and standing up, it’s really not that bad.
Q: What was your reaction when you learned you would switch back?
A: I was the happiest man ever.
A: Linebacker’s what I wanted to play. What I really wanted to play and where my heart was.
Q: When they told you you were playing defensive end last year, were you the unhappiest man ever?
A: It didn’t matter. I wanted to do whatever I could do to help the team win at that point in time. It really didn’t matter. But linebacker, being that it’s what I really wanted to play, you know.
Q: What all did you do last year? You were listed at linebacker.
A: I was listed as a linebacker all season. Coach [Les] Miles told me it’s just a place where he could see me helping out the team and I was for it, but I was still listed as a linebacker. They told me it wasn’t a definite move. It was for the team.
Q: Did you ever practice at linebacker last year?
A: I practiced at linebacker at the end of the season. But after the Florida game, that’s when I started practicing at defensive end.
Q: Why do you fit at middle linebacker?
A: I think it’s because of my size.
Q: Do they want you to [lose weight]?
A: Me, myself and I talked about it with Chief [defensive coordinator John Chavis], I want to play at like 240. I’m at like 245 right now. ... I’m trying. It’s been the hardest thing ever for me.
Q: Is D.J. Welter helping you with the move?
A: Oh yeah, he’s always there for me when I need him.
Q: What do you need?
A: If there’s a play that I don’t quite know, don’t remember, he helps me out. ... If it’s something I think I missed, I didn’t do well or I messed up on, I just go to the sideline and I ask him.
Q: What do you think the different position moves are going to bring to y’all’s group?
A: It just shows our athleticism, I guess, being that we can play all those different types of positions. I really like the way that Chief does that.