Mendenhall Names John Beck as Starter

In a surprise announcement this afternoon, Bronco Mendenhall named John Beck as BYU's starting quarterback heading into summer practice sessions.

At the conclusion of spring football, Coaches Bronco Mendenhall and Robert Anae indicated that none of the Cougar quarterbacks had separated themselves enough to be named the starter. The coaches went on to say that they were in no rush to name a starter and may wait until they release the lineup for the season opener in LaVell Edwards Stadium against Boston College.

Apparently something changed. The timetable for a decision was moved up considerably as earlier today BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall named John Beck as the starting quarterback heading into summer workouts.

"In a highly contested battle through Spring Camp, John emerged as the most consistent performer throughout the spring evaluation period," Mendenhall said. "For our offense to continue to progress through the summer, I thought it was important to list a starting quarterback for the upcoming workout period. Having said that, I expect the competition for the starting quarterback position will continue through the summer and into Fall Camp."

Beck completed 30-of-44 attempts (.682) for 301 yards in the last two spring scrimmages. Beck started the Blue-White game by completing six straight passes for 62 yards to set up a 22-yard field goal. Beck's line for the game was 15 completions on 24 attempts (.625) for a team high 116 yards.

"John's composure, leadership, experience and ability to move the offense in the most consistent manner were the things that gave him the slight edge," Mendenhall said. "At the end of the spring evaluation period, this is where it stands. It's John's position to lose at this point."

The stiff competition at quarterback should be replicated at all positions.

"The position, as any other on the team, will continue to be competition-based," he said. "I don't expect Matt Berry or Jason Beck to back off one bit. I expect them to feel that they are capable of earning the starting job, and that they will have an opportunity to battle and take the job with their performance."

This announcement does not mean that Matt Berry and Jason Beck are out of the running for the starting spot on opening day.

"Matt's passing accuracy and commitment to become the starting quarterback has been very impressive," Mendenhall said. "I would expect that to continue. Jason's ability to create, along with his poise under pressure, continues to make him a strong candidate. "The competition is not over; however, at the conclusion of Spring Camp, this is where it stands. It is now John Beck's job to lose."

Coach Mendenhall did not just name a starting quarterback today. The new BYU headman releases the full starting lineup heading into the summer.

LE Justin Maddux
NT Vince Feula
RE T.J. Sitake
LB Aaron Wagner
MB Cameron Jensen
RB Richard Nehring
LC Nate Soelberg
LK Spencer White
CG Dustin Gabriel
RK Quinn Gooch
LC Kayle Buchanan

LT Eddie Keele
LG Brian Sanders
C Lance Reynolds
RG Travis Bright
TR Jake Kuresa
YR Jonny Harline/Daniel Coats
HR Bryce Mahuika/Nate Meikle
ZR Matt Allen/Joe Griffin
XR Todd Watkins
QB John Beck
RB Curtis Brown/Fahu Tahi

JOHN BECK (bio) Quarterback 6-2, 210, Jr. Mesa, AZ / Mountain View HS

At BYU: SOPHOMORE - (2004): Earned second-team All-Mountain West honors as a sophomore ... started at quarterback in 10 of the Cougars' 11 games during the season ... broke the Mountain West Conference and BYU single-game record with 67 pass attempts against UNLV on Oct. 8 ... holds the MWC single-game sophomore record with 34 completions against UNLV ... averaged a MWC best 261.0 yards per game against league opponents ... ranked second in the MWC, averaging 233.0 yards per game (vs. all opponents) ... named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Cougars to a 41-24 win over Air Force ... posted an efficiency rating of 204.8 in the Cougars' 49-16 win over San Diego State, marking the highest quarterback rating since early in the 2001 season ... passed the 3,000-yard mark as a sophomore, ranking as the Cougars' third most prolific sophomore quarterback ... had at least one 50 + yard completion in six of 11 games ... connected on a season-high 82-yard touchdown completion (to Austin Collie) vs. SDSU ... recorded a season-high 390 yards on 35 attempts against Boise State ... ranked second in the MWC with 15 touchdown completions on the season ... recorded a season-high four touchdown completions against Air Force .... participated in spring drills ... completed 10-of-18 attempts for a game-high 171 yards and one touchdown in the annual Blue-White scrimmage ... completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to newcomer Todd Watkins.

FRESHMAN - (2003): Earned Academic All-Mountain West honors ... also earned letterman honors as a true freshman ... competed in eight games, including four starts ... became only the second true freshman to start at quarterback in BYU history (vs. Stanford) ... completed 22-of-45 attempts for a season-high 279 yards against the Cardinal, including a season-long 56-yard bomb to Rodney Wilkerson ... completed 19-of-35 attempts for 193 yards and one touchdown against Air Force ... credited with his first career victory on Oct. 4, leading the Cougars to a 44-36 win at San Diego State ... credited with 17-of-26 attempts for 180 yards and a season-high two touchdowns ... completed a 35-yard lob to Fahu Tahi to tie the score at 14-14 against the Aztecs ... after throwing two interceptions in his first game as a starter (vs. Stanford), did not throw a single interception in over 80 attempts, spanning a stretch of two straight games ... saw action at fourth-ranked USC, completing one pass for 12 yards ... carried the ball four times for 29 yards ... suffered a concussion against the Trojans ... saw his first collegiate action in the first half of the Cougars' 24-13 win over Georgia Tech ... sacked for a 10-yard loss on his first play from scrimmage ... was credited with a fumble (recovered by BYU) on his second play from scrimmage ... threw an interception on his first collegiate pass attempt -- his third play from scrimmage ... participated in spring drills after returning from a Church mission ... completed a combined 20-of-39 attempts for 260 yards in three different spring scrimmages ... completed 6-of-6 attempts for 157 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Cougars' second spring scrimmage.

BEFORE BYU Earned Outstanding Male Scholar Athlete honors at Mountain View High School ... a three-year letterwinner ... led Mountain View HS to a state championship as a senior ... posted an overall record of 25-2 over his junior and senior seasons ... earned first-team all-region, first-team all-state, USA Today All-American honorable mention and Dairyman first-team All-America honors ... named the region Offensive Player of the Year ... garnered first-team Super All-State and Super All-State Player-of-the-Year honors ... recognized as the Arizona High School Football Player of the Year ... earned both the Ed Dougherty and Fred Enke Awards (Arizona Quarterback of the Year) ... named the MVP during the state championship game as a senior ... selected as the Arizona All-Star game Most Valuable Player ... recognized by Fox Sports as the Arizona 5A Player of the Year ... holds the Arizona high school record with 42 touchdown completions in a single season with only 4 interceptions ... also lettered twice in baseball as a pitcher and an infielder.

PERSONAL Born in Hayward, Calif. ... parents are Wendell and Julie Beck .... served a Church mission in Lisbon, Portugal (Nov., 2000-Nov., 2002) ... started playing football at the age of 8 ... an Eagle Scout .... father participated in track & field at BYU ... married to Barbara Burke of Ferron, Utah in May, 2004.

Career Stats
Yr. Gms Att-Cmp-Int Pct. Yds TD LG
2003 8 145-73-5 50.3 864 5 56
2004 11 343-192-8 56.9 2,563 15 82
TOTAL 19 488-265-13 54.3 3,427 20 82

Career Highs
Att: 67 (vs. UNLV; Oct. 8, 2004)
Cmp: 34 (vs. UNLV; Oct. 8, 2004)
Int: 3 (vs. No. 1 USC; Sept. 18, 2004)
Yds: 390 (at Boise State; Sept. 24, 2004)
TD: 4 (at Air Force; Oct. 23, 2004)
Lg: 82 (vs. San Diego State; Nov. 6, 2004)

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