He's one of LSU's biggest trophies in its ongoing recruiting war with Alabama.
When Kendell Beckwith pledged to the Tigers on national television at the Under-Armour All-American game, it sent out a waves of optimism to LSU nation. But while fans of both programs were sweating his announcement until the last second, Beckwith said in the end it wasn't that close.
"I just really love it there after going down there so many times, being around on game days and being on campus," Beckwith said. "It's a gorgeous campus. I just really fell in love with it. Alabama just didn't match that."
With the recruiting process behind him, Beckwith has really been able to enjoy the last few months as he eagerly awaits the time he'll finally report to LSU. That day is drawing near when all the work he's put in this spring will pay off.
"The spring's been real good," said Beckwith, who's up to 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. "I've just been working out, running and all that stuff…It feels like I'm getting faster. I'm just doing a basic workout. I do a lot of drills too. I've gotten with Coach Chavis and he's having me do a lot of linebacker stuff too."
The biggest discussion topic on Beckwith is where he'll play once he arrives at LSU. While most believe he has the size and ability to eventually play DE on the next level, Beckwith knows at least where he'll start.
"[Chavis] sees me coming in and playing the SAM linebacker type," Beckwith said. "He just tells me I need to get down there because he's ready to work with me…I played a lot of defensive end, so rushing off the edge is something he's going to throw in."
Beckwith had an opportunity this spring to get a firsthand look at what life will be like working with Chavis and the other linebackers. With the Tiger Attack drill a significant part of practice for the defense, Beckwith won't be surprised when he's thrown into that environment.
"It's intense. It's definitely intense," Beckwith said. "I'm going to need be on my A-game with those guys…There's a lot of talent. I know I have my work cut out for me. I want to step in and play, so I'm up for the challenge."
But the practice field isn't the only thing he'll have to adjust to. Reporting at LSU will also mean leaving home and starting a new chapter of his life.
"I'm getting excited about it," Beckwith said. "It's time to go to work. I'm probably going to be nervous on my first day, but as the week goes on, once I get more comfortable with the surroundings, I'll be alright…I'm anxious but nervous at the same time."
While football will definitely be a major factor in helping him adjust to life at LSU, it isn't the only thing he's looking forward to. He's ready for the whole experience.
"I'm just looking forward to the college life, just the vibe, just college in general," Beckwith said. "I've heard a lot of stories about and I'm ready to see what it's like for myself."
Beckwith has high aspirations for his first season. He's determined to see the field early and show those other schools — particularly Alabama — what they missed out on.
"I'm just ready to get out there and make a statement," Beckwith said. "I'm somebody other teams are going to have to watch."
Is OLB the right position for Beckwith?
Leading up until June 7, the day when signees report, TSD is breaking down each one with analysis and the latest on their preparation for LSU. In case you missed any of our previous updates, the full list is below:
DE Michael Patterson
DE Lewis Neal
DE Tashawn Bower
WR Kevin Spears
OL K.J. Malone
Signee Update: Kendell Beckwith
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