Beckman After Beckham

Illinois opened a pipeline to Trotwood-Madison High School with commits like Reon Dawson and Jarrod Clements. One talented underclassman checked out the Illini on Saturday when they took on Charleston Southern.

Kei Beckham may only be a sophomore, but teams have already taken notice.

The sophomore corner has had the opportunity to build his talents around a great group of upperclassmen teammates at Trotwood-Madison.

"Really to keep my grades up no matter what," Beckham said of his teammates' admonitions, "Work hard, and it will all come together."

Being young, the recruiting process can get overwhelming, but Beckham has a good support system in place. Both his coaches and teammates have provided him guidance already.

"I've had a little bit from my coach and all that," he said. "Other players have opened up really too. Like when they get offers, they see that I can play like them. They support me a lot. They tell me to keep my head up and all that."

Beckham isn't a staple in the Trotwood-Madison lineup, but that's no slight to him when you consider who starts at the two corner positions. With those two graduating, his role next year figures to be a big one.

"This year I'm behind Ohio State commit Cameron Burrows and Illinois commit Reon Dawson," he said, "so I just get in when I can and do what I have to do."

But playing with those guys at the cornerback position has allowed Beckham to learn a lot from the two future-Big Ten corners.

He said, "I've learned a lot of technique, how to hit, footwork, and how to open my hips and all that."

Right now, Beckham names Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan, Pitt, LSU, and Alabama as schools he's interested in, but the Illini were the first to offer and the only school so far. Getting an offer from Illinois that early really made an impact on Beckham.

"It was great," he said. "My coach called me and he let me know that I should just be proud and to keep working and know that more should come."

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