NCF On The Trail: Kendell Beckwith

Signing day primer: LSU 

January, 23, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- With national signing day two weeks away, LSU is close to the finish line, but the Tigers still have some big names they are after:

Team needs: LSU was decimated on the defensive line by graduation and early NFL draft entrees.

The Tigers will be without six of the nine defensive linemen who played the majority of the snaps, including three potential first-round NFL draft picks, led by lightning-quick speed-rushing end Barkevious Mingo.

Weekly Commitment Update 

January, 11, 2013
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ACC
Clemson
Ebenezer Ogundeko DE Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson
HT: 6-3 WT: 229
Position Rank: #10 DE

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Scouts: LSU needs Beckwith up front 

January, 5, 2013
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This could be a pivotal get for the Tigers, especially if Barkevius Mingo and Sam Montgomery declare for the draft, as ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) will likely end up as a defensive end at LSU. You can never have enough front-seven personnel, and with Beckwith’s versatile athleticism in having played as an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid and even Wildcat quarterback in high school, you have to appreciate what he brings to the table.

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No matter position, Beckwith a huge 'get' 

January, 4, 2013
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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.

[+] EnlargeKendell Beckwith
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comThe 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:

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ATH Beckwith commits to LSU

January, 4, 2013
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) promised there would be no drama with his announcement, and he stayed true to his word when he put on an LSU hat and committed to the Tigers during the first quarter of tonight's Under Armour All-America Game.

Beckwith is the second prospect to commit to LSU during Under Armour All-America Game week, as defensive tackle Maquedius Bain (Davie, Fla./University School), who committed Wednesday after practice. Beckwith is the 25th verbal commitment and the sixth member of the ESPN 150 to join to LSU’s Class of 2013.

The top-rated player in Louisiana, Beckwith said that the battle between SEC West powers LSU and Alabama was tough, but in the end the idea of playing for his home-state school was too much to go against.

While Beckwith’s commitment to the Tigers is solid, there is plenty of speculation about where he will play. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, he was closer to 240 pounds this week and looks like he could have a future at linebacker or defensive end.

“I’m probably the most comfortable at linebacker in college, especially because they use big linebackers in the SEC,” Beckwith said earlier this week. “In some situations I might need to put my hand in the ground and that could work too.”
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- And then there were five.

Under Armour All-America Game officials have confirmed that Pomfret (Md.) McDonough four-star offensive tackle Na'Ty Rodgers will not announce his decision tonight’s game. Kickoff for the sixth annual game is at 5 p.m. ET and is broadcast on ESPN.

Rodgers tweeted late last night that he wasn’t going to announce his decision and likely would wait until signing day.

“I've decided to not announce tomorrow,” the tweet said. “Sorry folks.”

Rodgers was expected to decide between Maryland and South Carolina at the game, but now he’s going to wait. Oklahoma and Washington have also been in contention with Rodgers, who ranks as the nation’s No. 27 offensive tackle and the No. 9 player in Maryland.

Still scheduled to announce are four-star safety Leon McQuay III, four-star defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko, four-star athlete Max Redfield, four-star linebacker Trey Johnson and four-star athlete Kendell Beckwith.

McQuay is expected to pick between Florida State and USC. Ogundeko lists Syracuse and Clemson as the favorites.

Redfield listed Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC as his finalists, but the Buckeyes aren't actively recruiting him and he should pick between the Irish and Trojans.

Beckwith will decide between LSU and Alabama. Johnson will choose from Ohio State, Tennessee and Florida, but the final pick will be between the Buckeyes and Vols.

Beckwith assures no family fireworks 

January, 1, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The scenario seems strangely familiar. A top-ranked Louisiana prospect will make a decision between Alabama and LSU at the Under Armour All-America Game, which will be televised live at 5 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Last year, Landon Collins' decision to go to Alabama made for compelling television as his mother, sitting with him during the live announcement, clearly did not approve of his choice.

ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) says not to expect any drama this year, as his family will be happy with whichever school he chooses.

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LSU recruits address 'the sign' 

December, 31, 2012
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Although it’s doubtful LSU coach Les Miles and his staff wanted a list of players who were missing team workouts made public, it doesn’t appear it will have a negative effect with any of the Tigers’ targets.


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Weekend Rewind: Alabama 

December, 10, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For the first time since early October, the University of Alabama had a weekend without a football game, and it gave the Crimson Tide coaching staff a chance to host a group of official visitors.

The most notable visitor was ESPN 150 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana), ranked No. 19 overall. The Louisiana native has narrowed down his list to Alabama and LSU and plans to make a decision in January at the Under Armour All-America Game. He enjoyed his official visit to UA over the weekend.

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O.J. Howard talks official visit to Bama 

December, 9, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- ESPN 150 tight end O.J. Howard (Prattville, Ala./Autauga Academy) isn’t far from the University of Alabama. Since he committed more than a year ago, he has made plenty of trips to Tuscaloosa. On the weekend, he took his first and only official visit to UA.

“It went well,” Howard said. “You only take one official, and it went well. I really enjoyed it. Overall, it was a very productive weekend.

“We went to eat at Coach’s house a couple times. Then we got to go ride four-wheelers and stuff like that. We got to go out with some of the players. We did an academic tour, toured the campus, the facilities, the football facilities, the locker room, the stadium. It was just stuff that makes you feel like you’re at home. It was fun.”

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What if ... John Chavis left? 

December, 7, 2012
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- It's the height of the coaching change season. LSU has been to immune to staff changes so far, but not to the annual December speculation.

Defensive coordinator John Chavis' name got hot when the Tennessee job came open. While reports surfaced early Thursday that Tennessee hired Cincinnati's Butch Jones, the possibility remains that a school and Chavis could see enough potential in one another to prompt a move.

If that were to happen, what would happen to LSU?

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Tigers' consistency key to talent haul 

November, 21, 2012
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Here's a telling statistic for anyone questioning LSU's recent recruiting success: in the past 11 seasons dating back to 2001, the Tigers have finished first or second in the SEC West nine times.

[+] EnlargeWilliams
David Helman/ESPN.comDefensive end Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory) is a top in-state target for LSU.
During that span, LSU has played for five conference championships, won four of them, traveled to five BCS bowl games, played for three national championships and won two.

Simply put, no other program in the SEC has sustained that level of success over such a long period -- not Alabama, which was up and down for years before the hiring of Nick Saban, and not Florida, which endured mediocrity at both ends of the past decade.

If the chance to compete for championships isn't enticing enough, there's always the 38 former Tigers currently listed on NFL rosters -- one of the highest numbers in the league. LSU has also had at least one first round draft pick in eight of the past nine seasons dating back to 2004. Suffice to say, Baton Rouge is as good a path to professional football as there is.

With all that in mind, it's not a big surprise the Tigers boast yet another top 10 recruiting class as we head toward national signing day. LSU boasts commitments from 11 of the top 300 players in the nation, and several more major decisions could boost this class even higher than its current No. 9 spot.

Les Miles has obtained pledges from three members of the ESPN 150, and his Tigers are in play for another four members of that elite grouping. It's all about par for the course for LSU, which has finished as high as No. 1 and no worse than No. 14 in these class rankings since 2006.


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Weekend Rewind: LSU 

November, 19, 2012
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After two weeks of huge visitor turnouts, LSU's guest list tailed off a bit for Saturday's home finale against Ole Miss. The afternoon kickoff and the low-level opponent probably contributed to that, especially since the Tigers played marquee matchups against Alabama and Mississippi State in the weeks before.

A sizable chunk of the Tigers' usual suspects turned out -- many of them 2013 commits such as Jeryl Brazil (Loranger, La./Loranger), DeSean Smith (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) and Tre'Davious White (Shreveport, La./Green Oaks). Some non-regular visitors such as offensive guard commit Josh Boutte (New Iberia, La./Westgate) also turned up.

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#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 16

November, 16, 2012
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Alvin Kamara, Derrick GreenESPN.comUncommitted 2013 running backs Alvin Kamara and Derrick Green.

ESPN 100 running backs Alvin Kamara and Derrick Green can score from anywhere on the field thanks to their breakaway speed, an attribute that makes them very attractive recruits to the Oregon Ducks. Oregon's pursuit of the duo headlines this week’s #BlueChipBattles. Insider

Click through for our list to rank the top 10 recruiting battlesInsider.

Weekend Rewind: Alabama 

November, 12, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama came up short on the field against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M on Saturday, but off the field, the Crimson Tide enjoyed a successful weekend with a number of top recruits in town for the game. It was the Tide’s biggest recruiting weekend of the season to date.

The most notable visitor in Tuscaloosa was five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), who was accompanied by his mother on the trip. From all accounts, the visit went great and bolstered the Tide’s chances with the ESPN 150 star. Tunsil recently named Alabama and Georgia as his top two schools.

During the weekend, UA hosted just two official visitors: a pair of ESPN 150 tight ends, Hunter Henry (Little Rock, Ark./Pulaski) and Josh McNeil (Durham, N.C./Milford Academy). McNeil is already committed to the Tide, but for Henry, an Arkansas commitment, the trip gave him something to think about.

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