Thursday, January 17, 2013
First offer in for newcomer Bushell-Beatty
By Jared Shanker
At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds as a junior, Juwann Bushell-Beatty (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) has always been naturally big. That prototypical offensive tackle frame did not step onto the football field until his freshman year of high school. And it didn’t earn a starting spot until just before the start of the 2012 season.
Bushell-Beatty has come a long way in a short time, though, even paving the way for elite 2014 prospect Jabrill Peppers for a 70-yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the state championship game. On Tuesday, UMass assistant coach Dave Sollazzo paved the way for a flood of offers to come Bushell-Beatty's way after he tendered the left tackle his first offer.
“I was pretty excited considering I’ve been waiting a while,” Bushell-Beatty said. “But I wasn’t anxious to get offered. I wasn’t worried about getting offered because I’m new to the game and knew it was gonna come in time because I’ve been working hard.”
Sollazzo told Bushell-Beatty that UMass, which just made the jump to the FBS level, wanted to get an offer in early because he knows more teams will be coming.
The next school could possibly be Penn State. Nittany Lions coach Bill O’Brien was at Paramus Catholic recently, and he told Bushell-Beatty to try to make it over to State College whenever he can for a visit.
It would be the second time Bushell-Beatty visited Penn State, with his first visit coming for the Ohio State game. The staff was unable to talk much with Bushell-Beatty then due to all the prospects on campus.
Not interacting with the coaches did not damper his experience at Penn State. A loss did not either.
“It was the atmosphere of the whole place, felt like the whole school is behind them when they play,” Bushell-Beatty said. “It felt like a big family and coming from where I am now it’s a lot about family. Even though they didn’t win I liked how they played until the end.”
Rutgers is also in the mix for an offer, and Bushell-Beatty visited recently.
“I had a lot of fun going on the visit,” he said. “They showed us around the center, the weight room and the meeting rooms.”
Bushell-Beatty helped lead Paramus Catholic to a state championship in 2012. In the state final, he was forced to go up against either Garrett Dickerson or Kurt Holuba -- both with BCS offers -- on each snap.