It’s widely known that Louisiana is one of the more talent-rich states for the Class of 2011 prospects. This year, Louisiana will be one of the more common stops for college coaches like never before.
One of the prospects Les Miles and his staff would certainly like to keep within the state’s borders is Odell Beckham, Jr., the son of former LSU running back Odell Beckham, Sr.
Miles will have some competition as the younger Beckham’s recruitment is starting to take off as he is approaching 10 offers with two more likely on the way.
“Everything is going really well,” Beckham said of his recruitment. “I think I have around 10 offers. I have offers from LSU, Tulsa, Memphis, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi and SMU. Oregon may have offered already, but I’m not sure, and Miami will probably offer when I go to their camp this summer.”
One reason why the New Orleans (La.) Newman standout is prospering from so many early offers is due to his production from last season.
As a receiver, Beckham hauled in 45 passes for 743 yards and 10 touchdowns. He then touched the ball 14 more times as a running back for 123 yards and three more scores. As if that were not enough, he started at cornerback on defense and racked up 21 tackles (19 solo and 2 assists) and a team-leading four interceptions.
It didn’t end there, either, as Beckham returned 15 kickoffs for 384 yards (25.6 avg.) and three scores along with four punts for 112 (28.0 avg.) yards and a touchdown.
Beckham said that he is grateful for all of the opportunities that lie in front of him and of the schools showing interest he lists three at the top.
“It feels really good having some options to go where you want,” Beckham stated. “Right now, in no order, my top three teams are LSU, Miami and Oregon.”
Oregon has made a strong impression on Beckham for the offense the Ducks run and with LSU and Miami one word links the two schools – tradition.
“I really like all three, but I’ve always liked LSU and Miami,” he said. “I like Miami because of its tradition, and LSU has just been my home for so long that it’s always been my dream to go there.”
As noted, Beckham has family ties to LSU from when his father lettered for the Tigers from 1990-1992. He also has a connection with his classmate Ronnie Vinson, who signed with the Tigers as a member of the 2010 class.
Beckham, Sr. is not pressing his son to follow in his footsteps but Vinson is doing his part to help reunite the two Greenies in 2011.
“Even though my dad went to LSU, he thinks it’s my decision to make so he kind of just guides me on the things I need to know with recruiting,” Beckham continued. “Ronnie on the other hand wants me to go to LSU and I think it would be cool if we both ended up there.”
Vinson is projected to play cornerback for the Tigers and it just so happens that LSU is also recruiting Beckham to play the same position. Others also feel that Beckham’s future is on defense but he feels that he is better suited to catch passes rather than defend them.
“I’d play corner, but I don’t think that’s my position right now,” Beckham said. “It would take a lot more work for me to play corner than it would receiver in college because playing receiver comes naturally to me. It is what I’m made to be. I like catching the ball and having it in my hands.”
Beckham says that he plans on attending LSU’s spring game and junior day on March 27 and his summer camp plans include stops at LSU, Miami and Florida.
He hopes to impress the LSU coaches in person with his receiving skills and after the summer he said he will talk more with his father, mother, who is a track coach at Tennessee, and step father and put more thought into the recruiting process that includes the schools that have offered and which position he is best suited for when he moves on to the next stage of his career on the gridiron.