Luc Bequette has lived a Johnny Cash song: He’s been everywhere.
After being born in Arkansas, he and his family moved to Fountain Valley, Calif., when he was four-years old, staying there for five-and-a-half years. Then, the family moved to Champaign, Ill., where he lived for six-and-a-half years, before finally moving back to his father’s roots in Little Rock, Ark., in January.
“You know, Arkansas is probably really home to me. I don’t have any Southern accent right now, but I used to,” said California’s most recent commit. “I’m an Arkansas boy, but I’ve lived the same amount of time pretty much in three different places, and they’re all home to me, but Arkansas, really, is my home.”
Along the way, Bequette has played at two different high schools, with his third on tap for this season, when he will play for Little Rock (Ark.) Catholic.
Bequette played his freshman and sophomore years at Champaign (Ill.) St. Thomas More, before playing across town at Champaign (Ill.) Centennial for a year.
“It was a great school, but the problem was that there were just not enough numbers,” Bequette said of St. Thomas More. “My sophomore year, we had really small numbers – real quality players, but real small numbers. There was one game where three of our guys were suspended, and five of our starters got hurt, and we were playing freshmen that didn’t have a very good JV team, and that kind of worried my dad.”
If that sounds a bit familiar, that’s a similar situation to what the Bears went through last season, when a spate of injuries decimated the defense and the offensive line.
“Personally, I did want to play some bigger, higher competition, so we transferred across town to Centennial High School, a bigger public school,” Bequette said. “I played some pretty good competition there – a Vanderbilt guy and some good high school players – and it was either go to Centennial or move back to Little Rock. My dad said it was my decision, so I chose to stay in Champaign, and then, after a year, I guess my dad just got homesick and wanted to move back to Arkansas and said, ‘We’re leaving.’”
At each of his previous two stops, Bequette – who has a long family tradition of athleticism, with his father, grandfather, uncle and cousin played football at Arkansas, and his mother scoring a figure skating bronze medal at the 1988 Winter Olympics – has wrestled and played baseball.
“I played a lot of DH (last year),” said the 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive tackle. “I started off really, really hot, and I think it was our second game, I went in at DH and I did really well, was doing really well, hit a huge homer over the Monster at our field, and was doing really well, and one day, I just got into a terrible slump and couldn’t really get out of it. Then, we had spring practice and I missed a lot of baseball, and that was the end of baseball, for then. Hopefully, I won’t have to worry about football, too much, next year, and I can focus on baseball and hopefully get when I had that [hot streak].”
Though Bequette’s mother was an elite skater, she didn’t quite pass down the genes to her son, though that hasn’t stopped him from trying his hand on the ice.
“When I was growing up, me and my dad would always go in the backyard with some hockey sticks and a ball and we’d set up some cones and play hockey in our backyard,” said Bequette. “My mom was always too busy, and never really could go to the closest ice rink to practice skating or anything, but I can kind of skate backwards, and I can skate well, but I can’t stop or anything. I crash into the boards. I don’t have any skating genes, really.”
With his background in multiple sports, Bequette has quick feet, a powerful lower half and plays with good leverage as an offensive center. He keeps his feet churning and locks out well, pushing defenders back up field. On defense – both at defensive end and tackle – he’s shown a persistent motor playing snap to whistle, and again, keeps his feet moving. The most notable aspect of Bequette’s highlights is that he maintains his quickness and athleticism at a variety of weights and positions, including long snapping.
“Sophomore year, I was playing about 230, junior year I was playing about 265, probably, and now I’m about 285, 290,” Bequette said. “Coach [Art] Kaufman has said that I’m really young, just turned 17, so I’ll grow into my body. I really put on a lot of weight really fast. He says I’ll grow into my body, and get more athletic, so I’m hoping, but I’ve still got to work at it.”
Bequette has repped 225 pounds in the bench press 18 times, has a 28-inch vertical leap, an 8-foot-6 broad jump and a 5.2 40-yard time, though, he said, “I need to improve on that, but we’ll get on that.”
That said, his highlights show that he’s a lot faster with pads on, getting downfield to cover punts and getting to the second level often as he’s blocking on the offensive line. He also shows good lateral quickness and explosion, able to penetrate, disengage and then sniff out the ball carrier on the outside. Even when he gets blocked down, he’s able to get back up and stay with the play to make tackles. He doesn’t show a mind-blowing variety of moves to get through the offensive line, but he does have a nifty spin move that he flashes upon occasion.
Bequette said that he plans on taking an official visit in December or January, but will “definitely” come to Berkeley for a game at some point during the season.
Bequette: Scouting Report & More
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