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Monday, January 14, 2013
Countdown to Signing Day: ATH Beckwith

By Gary Laney

To gear up for 2013 national signing day, GeauxTigerNation's Gary Laney will break down every commitment in the Tigers' 2013 recruiting class.

 Vitals: Ath Kendell Beckwith, Jackson, La./East Feliciana, 6-foot-3, 225 pounds

Committed: Jan. 4, 2013

ESPN Grade: 87, 4-star prospect

Picked LSU over: Alabama, with offers and interest from a slew of other schools, including Florida, Miami and Texas A&M

State of the position: The question is, which one? Beckwith did a little of everything for his high school team, including quarterback. His future position is likely to be either linebacker or defensive end. LSU has an immediate need for end help and a lot of young competition at linebacker.

Pros: Beckwith is a superior athlete and a winner who put his team on his back on an unlikely run to Louisiana's Class 3A semifinals. In the quarterfinals, he ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third -- all in the fourth quarter -- to help the Tigers erase a 16-point deficit to advance. He possesses that rare ability to step up and play at an optimum level at the biggest moments.

Cons: The one scary thing about Beckwith is will LSU find the right way to use him? Is he better staying lean and playing linebacker or bulking up and learning how to come off the edge as an end? The nice part is he could probably pull off either and it might be more about making the better choice as opposed to a right or wrong choice.

Similar to/potential role: Considering that his cousin is former LSU linebacker Darry Beckwith, that might be a good comparison, though Kendell is taller than his cousin. He might compare to departing Tigers defensive end Barkevious Mingo if he winds up playing the position. Both would be linemen with skill-position athleticism. And in some ways he'll compare to a Damian James or a Morris Claiborne, high school quarterbacks who became defensive stalwarts for the Tigers. What makes Kendell Beckwith unique among them is he might go from being known primarily for his exploits at quarterback to being a college lineman.