Honored to be considered

A common theme among many BYU defensive recruits is how they say they are honored to be considered by the staff to play on BYU's vaunted defense. Like many others in the 2013 recruiting class, that sentiment was expressed by Thousand Oaks High School athlete Nathan DeBeikes.

Southern California athlete Nathan DeBeikes was the heart and soul of his high school football team, a team that struggled all season long.

"Personally, I think I accomplished what I wanted to do," DeBeikes said. "As a team we didn't do what we wanted to do and do as well as I thought we would on the season. We lost a lot of key players and only went 5-5 on the season, but considering how many players we lost, and all the stuff that we had to go through, we did pretty good for the most part."

Against Agoura High School, BeBeikes ran the ball 22 times for 283 yards, including 195 yards in the second half.

"I had a few pretty good games," said DeBeikes. "Over the season I tried to get bigger, stronger and faster. I really worked hard in the weight room and felt like that helped me a lot and improved my speed.

"At running back I was able to break more tackles and kind of get past guys more easily than I had in previous seasons. That was something that I wanted to improve on this year and was able to do that. At the linebacker position, I felt like I was able to make more powerful tackles because I got bigger, stronger and faster."

Despite the troubles that plagued his team, DeBeikes had a good overall senior performance.

"I think I had somewhere around 950 rushing yards for the season for 10 games. I had around 13 or 14 touchdowns," DeBeikes said. "For receiving, I had around 58 catches, but I'm not sure how many yards I had for receiving."

His efforts to get bigger, stronger and faster paid off on defense as well.

"For linebacker, I actually broke 100 tackles for the season, and I'm not sure how many sacks I had," said DeBeikes. "I think I only had a few, but linebacker was a lot of fun and I got to play middle linebacker this year. So, I had to lead the team this year. I had to be the most talented on the field and kind of control the defense. It was really cool kind of playing that leadership role."

BYU defensive back coach Nick Howell is the staff member that scouted out and recruited DeBeikes over the course of last year. DeBeikes is expecting to see Coach Howell soon.

"Yeah, I think he's going to come visit me here pretty soon," DeBeikes said. "I think he's going to come out sometime this week to visit me. I'm not sure when though."

Although DeBeikes played middle linebacker on the defensive side of the ball in high school, BYU coaches want him to play a different position at the next level.

"They told me that they see me as an outside linebacker or strong safety type of a player," he said. "It's pretty awesome, and any position that they consider me at will be an honor. At the outside backer position, I think it would be a lot of fun. I like to be more of a speed player and I feel like I could be that type of player on the outside. I think at the strong safety position I could play that role as well."

The 2012 BYU season will be one remembered as the year of Cougar defense. Coach Mendenhall's squad of Cougar defenders placed BYU on the national map as a top defensive program.

"Yeah, it's kind of crazy and definitely an honor to be considered by the coaches at BYU to play on their defense," said DeBeikes. "I feel really privileged to be in this position and I'm really excited. It's kind of crazy that they think that highly of me. I'm definitely honored.

"They've been awesome and have been able to constantly stop the run. It seems like they all play as one unit and are all on the same page, and I think that's why they've been so good. It just seems like they all play together and the mindset that they're tougher than everyone they play. They just go out and play some smash-mouth football. Like I said, it's an honor to be considered worthy to be a part of that defense."

Cougar fans and DeBeikes himself will have to wait a while before seeing what he can do at the next level. Prior to ever suiting up at BYU, DeBeikes plans on serving a two-year LDS mission right out of high school.

"I plan on serving a mission probably around July before I go to BYU," DeBeikes said. "Then when I come back I can get all four years in and just play football. I'm pretty excited about serving my mission, then knowing that I'll be coming back to play football once again at BYU."

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