After a recent Arkansas football practice, a recruit offered up that number 97 was the best current Razorback defender he saw out on the field.
That would be redshirt sophomore-to-be defensive end Tevin Beanum (6-4, 280), who has indeed had a buzz-worthy spring per his coaches while splitting time with Deatrich Wise as the first-team rush end.
“I think that is amazing to be honest with you,” Beanum said, “because when I am out there I am my biggest critic, especially this spring. I have always been hard on myself.
“But there have been times when my coaches have said you are doing fine and I really just don’t feel like I am.
“To hear a recruit – somebody we are trying to get to come here – say that, it is a confidence builder for sure.”
It has been a bounce back spring for Beanum, who was arrested Feb. 21 for suspicion of driving while intoxicated and illegally possession of alcohol.
Up until that point, Beanum had been a model student-athlete for Razorback head coach Bret Bielema.
Bielema took Beanum’s car away after consulting with Sandra Angelucci, the player’s mom, but he has since earned his driving privileges back.”
“I think it's been going great,” Beanum said. “I have made a lot of leaps and bounds mindset wise. It's been my biggest focal point to learn to be a little more responsible - partly because of my personal decisions and partly because of just growing up in the program.
“I have been following the court guidelines the right way and handling the business as far Coach Bielema goes and taking care of the things I need to.
“He stressed to me that I wasn't in his doghouse. He said, 'I know you made a mistake.' He sympathized with me and told me that he just wanted me to continue on the path that I was on because this spring has been I think my biggest period of growth since I have been here.”
Bielema was shocked it was Beanum – who had 11 tackles while playing in 12 games last season - that got in trouble.
“When I got the phone call that he had been arrested on that charge, that kind of shocked me, set me back,” Bielema said. “The good news is I didn't know what to do, because it's been forever since we've had any issues, I literally didn't know the protocol for me to go through. As I sat back and looked at it later in the day, I said that's actually a positive, you know.
“… Tevin is going through a mandatory counseling that we always have for anybody that's involved in those situations. What we really do is we try to make sure the person involved - in this case Tevin - is OK.
“Thankfully not only did he not injure himself, he didn't injure anyone else. That's the point I made to the team is these type of situations come about, but the good news is everybody's healthy and it's a learning experience that all of us have to go through.”
Beanum, who has added almost 50 pounds since arriving on campus as a 235-pounder, believes that he is getting better every day in part because he is going up against Arkansas starting tackle Denver Kirkland (6-5, 335) each day.
“I feel I've gotten better from going against him because obviously a top-grade O-lineman,” Beanum said. “That just improves my game, especially pass-rush. I think I have improved by leaps and bounds.”
He also thinks he is better for just being around Trey Flowers, the former Arkansas defensive end expected to be taken high in this year’s NFL draft.
“I think more than anything it's not just how he played but how he approached everything, his preparation for the game,” Beanum said. “I wasn't really with that for my redshirt freshman year but during this spring I have learned to study a lot more, learned to prepare and engage in active recovery for my body and stuff like that.
“It just helped me bounce back from practice to practice and just be prepared to play where I am not just out there thinking which was something I was doing a lot this past season.”
With three practices left this spring, Beanum’s goal is simple for both himself and the team.
“We need to capitalize on every day,” Beanum said. “…I think every day, every practice is so important. We have to attack each one as if it is the most important one in terms of our success.”
Beanum's Having A Breakthrough Spring
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
TCU vs Iowa State primerAfter falling in double-overtime to Arkansas, TCU looks to get back to their winning ways against Iowa State.
Horned Frog Insider09/15/2016
The Ultimate Midlands TeamThere is a lot of talent in the Midlands region, with a vast majority of the highest rated recruits playing high school football in the Lone Star State. Which prospects made the…
These rival helmet color swaps are revoltingSwapping rival teams' helmet colors? It shouldn't have been done, but someone did it anyway.
Post-July 2017 Top 100 Player RankingsWith the July evaluation periods, Nike Skills Academy, adidas Nations and Under Armour's Elite 24 over, Scout's basketball recruiting team has updated the 2017 top 100. DeAndre…