Big-Time LB Has Co-Favorites

This big time linebacker prospect is one of the elite prospects in the entire state, regardless of position. He talked about his early favorites and went indepth to compare his current co-favorites.

It's not often when you see a left tackle-turned-strong safety. However, that's the career path that Hollywood (Fla) Chaminade-Madonna standout John Beason has taken.

"You're not going to believe me Mike," he said, "but I used to play left tackle. You know they have a weight limit when you're 10 so I was right at the limit so I played on the line. The following year, I had to lose 15 pounds just to stay eligible. After that, I turned into a fullback and linebacker."

Several years later, Beason's one of the best linebacker prospects in the entire country. He's entering his fourth season as a starter on varsity, but it wasn't real smooth three years ago.

"I was going back and forth from JV and varsity," he said. "One week, I'd play JV then the next week, I'd be on varsity. Then we lost a game 28-0 and they moved me up."

And he's dominated ever since.

Beason is coming off an impressive junior season and then it was a strong performance at this year's NIKE Training Camp that put Beason on the national map. He went to the camp as a linebacker and dominated all the drills at a camp filled with talented linebacker prospects. He then went out and proved why he's among the state's best with a strong spring performance that ended in a very impressive showing at his spring jamboree, a game in which I watched from the sidelines.

At 6-foot-1 and 213 pounds, Beason carries a 2.8 GPA inside the classroom and is still waiting for his test scores to come back.

Beason also competes in basketball and track, where he qualified for states in the long jump (finished 4th with a 22-5 ½ jump) and the triple jump (finished 7th with a 44-1 jump).

Beason received phone calls from nearly every major program in college football that recruits south Florida, but he said he already has a pretty good idea of which schools he wants to visit later this year.

"My top five are Miami, Florida State, Florida, LSU, and Tennessee," he said. "I'm probably going to take my visits to those schools and go from there. LSU and Rutgers are the schools that have sent me offers, but all 3 Florida schools said they're going to as well."

I then asked Beason to compare the in-state powers.

"My top one is probably out of Florida State or Miami," he said. "I'm going to wait until I take my visits to those schools before I say anything else. Basically all I know about them is what I've seen on TV to this point."

"Miami plays big time football," he said. "They can hold out but they said they're going to be coming after me. They definitely want me. I think it's a great program. You'd have to be a fool to not want to play at Miami. They're going to wait and see what happens. All I know is that they're the No. 1 program in the country right now. They like me as an outside linebacker."

"Florida State is also a great program," he said. "Coach John Lilly is a cool dude and they like me at strong safety. I'd prefer to stay at strong safety, but moving to linebacker would not be a big adjustment for me since I've played there most of my life."

So what will Beason look for when comparing his top five choices?

"I'm going to look for who will be in the hunt for the title every year," he said. "I will see what school will have the best coaches. I'm also going to look at the coaches' contracts because I want to make sure the coach is staying for my entire time there."

Beason – whose brother Adrian is a starting cornerback at Fordham – said he's not even thinking much about college right now.

"Our biggest goal as a team is getting to Tallahassee (the site of the state championship games)," he said. "I'm not going to any camps this summer because I want to be with my team all summer. We need to get this family thing going so we can achieve all the goals we have set."

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