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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Florida LB visiting Texas this weekend

By William Wilkerson

The Longhorns are getting a visit from a Florida outside linebacker this weekend who used to live in the state.

Class of 2014 outside linebacker Andrew Beck might live in Tampa, Fla., where he attends high school at Plant Senior High School. But make no mistake about his state allegiance.

He still considers himself a Texan even though he only lived in the Lone Star State from fourth through eighth grade.

That’s why this weekend’s visit to the Longhorns, to see the team he grew up rooting for in the state he still calls home, is so important to him.

“We grew up Horns fans,” said Beck, whose father was stationed at Fort Hood, about an hour north of Austin. “Even before we got to Fort Hood there was something about them that I liked. I liked the way they played and liked the way the program was run. Plus Mack Brown is a legendary figure in not just college football but in football in general. He is a figurehead in this sport and it’s an honor to be able to be recruited by his team.”

Beck said the he and Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz spoke a few days ago to finalize the visit, which is rare for a Plant High athlete to make.

“When we got started with the whole recruiting thing I told coach that one of my top schools that I wanted to look at was absolutely Texas,” he said. “He told me that we haven’t had that many kids go there but he’d work on it for me. I was fortunate to talk with Coach Diaz, who is the recruiter for my area and said that they’d be interested in me coming out. So I just want to go check things out before spring football.”

Beck (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) will get to Austin on Thursday and stay until Friday before he heads to Baylor to visit the Bears. Unlike most recruits that go on visits, especially ones from another state, he isn’t necessarily looking for an offer right away.

“This trip really isn’t to get an offer,” Beck said. “It’s for me to see them, not for them to see me and offer me. They said they’d come out this spring and watch me practice. That’s good enough for me. I’m excited that they are interested. The fact that they are looking at me is truly a blessing.”

Beck already has offers from Florida State, Kentucky and Miami. Those schools, like Texas, probably liked the way he is able to move vertically and drop back in coverage.

“They said they like my ability to not only play downhill and play the run but also getting back in coverage and be able to run with a 4.4 guy that’s running vertical,” Beck said. “That’s one thing they really look for. That’s huge for me because I really work on it.”

Beck said he’d be able to attend a Longhorns practice and sit in on some position meetings as well.