An Unexpected Commitment

Tyler Beck, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker recruit from Murrieta, California visited Provo with no intention of committing to play for the Cougars. Everything changed for Beck, however, after a scheduled meeting with Coach Bronco Mendenhall and a chance encounter with a former Cougar.

Tyler Beck had an offer from Nebraska to go along with his early offer from BYU. Last Saturday, he picked up an offer Utah on an unofficial visit to the Salt Lake City campus. Beck and his family then headed south BYU to participate in the SOAR program which prepares high school students for the ACT.

"I had no intention of committing when I left for Provo," said Beck. "Nebraska was probably the school on my mind the most, and I really liked Utah after visiting with them up there, so committing to BYU wasn't my intention at all going in."

A Visit to LaVell Edwards Stadium

While in Provo, the Becks decided to visit LaVell Edwards Stadium. As the family walked on the field, they noticed a big athletic Polynesian sitting alone in the stands.

"He looked like a football player," said Beck's mother Diana. "I really didn't know who he was. He looked very reflective and deep in thought, so I first thought that it was a player who just got cut from the team or something."

The Becks approached the stranger and learned that he was former Cougar tight end Gabe Reid, who now plays for the Chicago Bears. The BYU alum talked about missionary service, recruiting choices and representing BYU.

"He didn't really try and convince me of anything," said Beck. "We talked about Nebraska and Utah a lot, and he didn't downplay them or anything. He just told me what playing for BYU meant to him and stuff like that."

Beck left the stadium with a new perspective on BYU and on what is most important in a school. His mind was not yet made up, but BYU had vaulted to the top of his list.

"I remember [Tyler] just saying that he had a really good feeling about his place," said Diana Beck. "It was at that point when I felt like he just might commit."

Meeting Mendenhall

Before leaving Provo, Beck watched the team workout and then had a short meeting with Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Like so many other recruits who committed early to BYU, Beck was impressed with how Coach Mendenhall did not shy away from what makes BYU unique.

"I really liked Coach Mendenhall," said the Vista Murrieta High School star. "I just like how he carries himself. He tells it like it is and doesn't put the spiritual stuff that BYU has in the background. Just talking to him made me feel like committing to them was the way to go.

"BYU has everything I want. It's the school I always dreamed of playing for growing up, so it's sort of going to be a dream come true for me. I really liked Nebraska and Utah and still do, but BYU had all the things I was looking for and made the most sense."

Both of Beck's parents graduated from BYU. They wanted their son to follow in their footsteps, but they allowed him to make his own decision without any external pressure.

"Of course we're thrilled that he chose BYU, but we're more thrilled with the fact that it was his decision," said Diana Beck. "We wanted him to do what he wanted more than anything, but we're glad that the school he committed to was BYU."

Beck's birthday is January 4th, and he plans on serving and LDS church mission after playing one year of football. Beck will play outside linebacker for the Cougars where his speed and blitzing ability will be his chief assets.

"All I did in high school was blitz," said Beck. "I have good speed for a linebacker and I'm a very good tackler. I'm also very good covering guys one-on-one."

So what can Cougar fans expect from Beck when he shows up on campus and the practice field?

"They can expect someone who works very hard and is dedicated to the program," said Beck. "I'm very thankful for the opportunity to play for and to attend BYU. It's something I've always dreamed of growing up, and to have that chance now is something I'm very happy about."

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