Odell Beckham was one of the final pieces to the 2011 recruiting class, committing to Les Miles on national television during January’s Army All-American Bowl.
Though he projects as a wide receiver, Beckham entertained the idea of playing on either side of the ball, giving the Tigers the ability to start him out on offense and – if need be – shuffle him around during fall camp.
TigerSportsDigest.com caught up with the Newman High graduate to talk about his life on and off the gridiron.
Name: Odell Beckham
City/State: New Orleans, La.
High School: Newman
Scholarship Offers: LSU, Miami, USC, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, and others.
Current Height and Weight… “I am at 5’11”, 185-pounds. I have put on about 10 pounds since the season. I started to do a lot of running this spring because I figured we would be doing a lot on the bench when I got to campus.”
Favorite prospect in the 2011 class… “Jarvis Landry. We are really going to push each other this summer and in the fall because we both want that same position. We have to outwork the other guy. He’s an amazing talent, though. I will have to be at my best.”
Closest friend in the 2011 class… “I will go with Jarvis. We have clicked from day one. We didn’t have to do too much to figure out that we would get along well. Then we started working out at Velocity in New Orleans. We would work on routes and do all that stuff together. It gave us a head start before coming into college.”
Favorite sport… “Definitely basketball. I could have played basketball over football. I run the point. I also feel like I could have been getting paid to play soccer. I was really good growing up, but eventually I had to focus my time on football.”
On playing at Newman… “I really enjoyed it, and I’m glad to be one of the bigger names to come out of their football program. But I wanted to win state one year, but that was hard with the people in our division. 2A was tough with some of the teams we had to play to get there.”
Following in big footsteps… “My dad played running back at LSU from 1989 to 1992 (started nine games and played in 28), and my mom (Heather Van Norman) was an All-American running track from 1991 to 1993. They won five national championships while she was there. I felt like they both wanted me at LSU, but they never pushed me to commit. They let me make my own decision. I’m definitely happy to carry on that tradition, though.”
Familiar number… “I am going to be wearing No. 33, which is the same number that my dad wore when he played at LSU. I wanted No. 3, but (Jakhari) Gore wears it right now. I felt out No. 22 at the Army game, but I think that if I change numbers then I will go for the lowest one possible.”
On being part of the “The Fam”… “This 2011 signing class is very special. It was a big honor to become a part of that, and the other guys were telling me that all along. It’s pretty close to the best class I’ve seen LSU sign. And for us, it’s a brotherhood. We are all coming in with one goal in mind, and that’s working together to bring home championships.”
Why LSU… “I bleed purple and gold, so it was just the best fit for me and my family. They were really happy in the end. Following in their footsteps meant a lot to them.”
If not LSU… “People talked a lot about me liking Miami, but it would have been USC. There was a certain point where I did really want to go to Miami, but the way their season turned out, I just didn’t know anymore. I also didn’t want to get caught up in the South Beach lifestyle and lose focus. And in the end, I didn’t want to be away from family.”
Favorite Movie… “Blue Streak.”
Hottest celebrity… “Meagan Good or Megan Fox.”
Favorite Pro Team… “I am a big LeBron James fan, so I have to say the Miami Heat.”
Favorite Athlete... “LeBron. Michael Vick is at the top, but LeBron is my favorite.”