Cornhuskers or Cougars for Beck?

Many prospective college athletes grow up with a favorite school, and when that school offers a scholarship, the recruiting process comes to an abrupt end. Such is not the case for a 6-foot-2, 206-pound athlete from Murrieta, California.

Tyler Beck turned in several impressive performances when his Vista Murrieta High School football team recently held strength and speed testing. He squatted 405 pounds, benched 275 and cleaned 270. He also ran a 4.63 forty and a 4.2 shuttle, and he posted a vertical jump of 33 inches.

As a junior, Tyler Beck was the starting quarterback for the first four games of the season. Then the injury bug hit. When Murrieta's starting linebacker and fullback both went down with injuries, a change of position was in order.

"Our coach didn't know what to do, and he asked me if I would make the switch to defense to play linebacker," recalled Beck. "I ended up starting the rest of the season as an outside linebacker.

"I had around 76 tackles, and I had around eight sacks. I'm not sure of the exact numbers but I think I had maybe around three or four fumble recoveries. I didn't have any picks though."

Due to the mid-season position change, Beck did not have the stats to earn any post-season honors. He did play enough to get attention from a storied D-I football program, however.

"Nebraska actually offered me a scholarship," said Beck. "I like them and it was really cool because it was just a random thing. I wasn't getting any looks and my coach went up there to a coaching clinic, and he gave them some film on me and a Nebraska coach said that he would watch it later. He called my coach after he had left and said, ‘I really like this kid.' He then called back a week later and said that they were going to fly out and take a look at me, and that's when they offered me the scholarship. They offered me to play outside linebacker."

One concern for Beck is being able to serve a full time LDS mission. Many programs in the east and south are not used to dealing with missionaries and consequently they avoid the issue completely.

"I've talked to [Nebraska] about my mission," said Beck. "They said it's fine if I commit to them early and tell them exactly where I'm going to go. They don't want me to go up there and as soon as I go up there to say, ‘Okay, I'm going to leave now.' They just want me to talk to them about it to let them know when I'm going to leave. If Nebraska doesn't says a mission doesn't work, BYU has offered me too."

A lifelong Cougar fan, BYU was Beck's top school. He has a brother at BYU-Idaho and even his parents attended BYU. Beck sent his information and some game film to BYU but he did not receive a response. Then Nebraska offered him and BYU took notice, and the Cougars lost a bit of their luster.

"I wish BYU would have offered me first, but they didn't," Beck said. "I guess after they heard that Nebraska had offered they looked at my tape and really like it. They showed Bronco Mendenhall my tape and he said to go take a look at me. Coach Higgins came out and he saw me at a combine and then he came out to our spring training and he ended up offering me a scholarship."

Beck was disappointed because he believed that the only reason BYU offered him a scholarship, was that Nebraska made an offer first. After spending some time considering the situation, his outlook improved.

"I follow BYU," Beck said. "I kind of felt like at first they didn't want to show any interests until someone else did, so maybe at first I was kind of down on BYU. Then I thought, ‘Well how can I expect them to look at every thing they get?' I bet they get a thousand letters and a thousand tapes every day.

"I'm just happy to have the offers on the table. I would be happy with any offer so I'm not going to turn my back on someone or be snotty to anyone because of the situation. I'm just thankful for the opportunity, and I'm just grateful. I'm not leaning towards anyone right now. I'm looking into both schools a lot but I'm not ready to make my decision yet."

Beck's high school coach is pushing him to explore all of his options. At his coach's encouragement, Beck calls UCLA, Nebraska, Utah and BYU every week. He said that Utah is showing the most interest followed by UCLA.

This summer, Beck will head to BYU to participate in an ACT camp designed to help participants succeed on the college entrance exam.

"I figure I would stop by the campus and talk to the coaches then," said Beck. "I'll be heading down to BYU on July 10th or 11th. I went up to BYU for EFY but that was a while ago."

While at BYU, Beck will take the opportunity to check out the campus, tour the facilities and meet BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall.

"I haven't met Coach Mendenhall yet," said Beck. "He sounds like a really good guy, and he's trying to get the program turned around up there."

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