'Home' vs. ‘Home' battle for Beckwith

While the longtime favorites for Kendell Beckwith squared off last week and had opposite outcomes this weekend, the four-star talent is closing in on his decision. LSU and Alabama both still have a shot at him, but he views each program so similarly that his decision could come down to one thing.

Kendell Beckwith, the four-star defensive end and outside linebacker prospect from Clinton (La.) Enrichme, was slated to check out Alabama over the weekend.

He was at LSU last weekend, giving him the chance to see his two favorites in back-to-back weeks.

However, Beckwith was unable to make the trip to Tuscaloosa because of his game on Friday night.

"I didn't get the chance to make it to Alabama because I had an away game in the playoffs," he explained. "It was a three-hour ride, so we got back late. We got back at 2:30 (A.M.)…my family would have had to leave at six (A.M.) to make it down to Alabama."

Even though he couldn't make the trip, instead seeing LSU's home game against Mississippi State, Beckwith knows just about all there is to know about the two schools atop his list.

"LSU and Alabama, it's going to come down to those two," Beckwith maintains. "They were the first two schools to offer me scholarships. Then they were the first two schools that I really saw, so far."

The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has seen both campuses several times and views each program in very high regard to the point that he can't place a finger on the differences between the two.

"I don't know…I really don't know. It's so hard to distinguish between the two," he added. "When I go down to LSU, I basically just feel at home. They have a great support staff, you couldn't ask for better people to be around. And Tiger Stadium is a great atmosphere to play football.

"When I go to Alabama, I feel at home again. It's a college town. I'm from the country part of Louisiana, so I'm from a small town. It's a great atmosphere, it's just so similar."

The well-noted playing style of both schools was on full display last weekend when it took a late drive to put the Crimson Tide over the top in Death Valley. Beckwith was there.

"To me, it was like a repeat from last year," he said. "I was at the game at Alabama last year; it was the same game with different scores. It was a well-fought battle. "

With everything seemingly even between the in-state power and it's most powerful rival, will an extended visit to each school help?

"When I take these officials maybe I'll see the difference between the two, because now I really can't," Beckwith continued. "It's just going to come down to the one I can see myself at for the next four years. I need to be completely comfortable and see myself there.

"I'm close."

Beckwith, who has yet to play either official, plans to make his commitment public at the Under Armour All-American game. He will likely take both officials before that point, but after his team's playoff run – which was extended because of his play under center.

"The guy we had in was doing well…but he was just off," said Beckwith of Friday night. "I had to go in and save the game. We were playing sloppy, so I came in after halftime. I scored three touchdowns after halftime to win."

The talented edge rusher, who doesn't have a preference in defensive scheme, feels that his two-way knowledge and experience not only helps him in high school but that it will help with his defensive prowess at the next level.

"I think it helps," he said. "At quarterback, I know what's going to be open with other teams. On defense, I know what's coming and I know what to expect."

But at the end of the day, it's simply about having the chance to come off the edge at LSU or Alabama beginning next fall.

Said Beckwith, "I really like coming off the edge and dropping into coverage. I've been playing defensive end since my ninth grade year."

Scout ranks Louisiana's top player as the No. 7 defensive end in the class of 2013.

Gene's Page Top Stories