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Friday, January 4, 2013
No matter position, Beckwith a huge 'get'

By Gary Laney

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.

Kendell Beckwith
The 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:

• As the No. 19 player in the ESPN 150, he becomes the highest-rated player in a class already ranked eighth in the ESPN team rankings. He’s the sixth ESPN 150 player to commit to the Tigers.

• After LSU lost the state’s top player, Landon Collins, last year to Alabama, it is huge for the program to win another showdown with the Tide for the state’s top player this year. Losing the state’s top player to the Tide two years in a row would be crippling to the notion of LSU having a “fence” around the state, regarding its top prospects.

• Beckwith’s commitment continued some needed momentum in the aftermath of a disappointing loss to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. There is angst about an offense that has failed to get double-digit first downs in back-to-back bowl games, and anger about a 10-2 team having to play in the SEC’s No. 6 bowl.

But landing Beckwith at the Under Armour Game a couple of days after ESPN 150 defensive tackle Maquedius Bain chose the Tigers will do a lot to ease the pain. They are the two highest-rated players in the incoming class, and they’ve come on board in the five days since the bowl loss.

So, while the season ended on a downer, LSU recruiting continues to be on the rise.