Pro Day: Ben Beckwith

Mississippi State offensive lineman Ben Beckwith was not supposed to be here. As a lightly recruited walk-on, Beckwith worked hard to prove that he belonged with the nation's elite in the rugged Southeastern Conference. An All-SEC selection as a senior, Beckwith became one of the better stories in nation's toughest conference.

Beckwith has battled the odds most of his playing career. Electing to prove himself without the benefit of a scholarship offer from Mississippi State, the Benton Academy product spurned a junior college offer and interest from Mississippi College to become a Bulldog.

Happy to simply have a role, Beckwith worked hard to find some snaps on the punt coverage team as an underclassmen. Before he left Starkville, #66 had become both a fan favorite and one of the most dependable offensive lineman in the SEC Western Division.

With his college eligibility now exhausted, the talented right guard has secured representation and is now working towards a potential pro football career. Beckwith was one of 19 pro prospects who took part in Mississippi State's Pro Day on Wednesday.

"I didn't do as well as I wanted to in certain areas, but overall, I feel like I did well," Beckwith explained. "There is always something to improve on throughout life, but especially in football.

"I have the time and opportunity to fix things. I feel like I good with all of my times and the scouts were giving me some positive responses after every drill. I feel like, all in all, I did good today."

Fellow position mates Blaine Clausell and Dillon Day were also on hand looking to improve their stock as prospects. The trio all came to Starkville as wide eyed freshmen just hoping to contribute. Five years later the group leaves with five straight bowl games under their belts.

Pro day provided Beckwith and his fellow fifth year seniors one final day to take part in football related activities as teammates.

"It was awesome to get out here and be around all of the guys again," Beckwith shared. "We had a huge redshirt freshman class from 2010. I feel like we had a good group of guys throughout the years. We had a lot of fun and we did a lot of great things together. Now we're all in here trying to do our best in front of pro scouts, so we can try to move on the next level and the next phase of our life."

Before getting back to the football grind, Beckwith will take some well deserved down time with some friends and former teammates.

"I am going with Cam Lawrence, Mark Melichar, Addison Lawrence and all of those guys for a bachelor trip," Beckwith grinned. "I am going to do that and take some time off to recuperate with my guys and then I am going to get back to training.

"I won't be doing as many 5-10-5 drills, but I will be doing a lot more O line specific stuff. I want to stay in shape for any workouts and I am going to be working out a lot here in Starkville."

The familiar surroundings of the Palmerio Center and the Seal Jr. center will prove Beckwith a training haven of sorts as he does his best to stay sharp and in shape for the rest of the days leading up to the NFL draft.

"I am going to be in Starkville and enjoying my last few months here," Beckwith said. "We have a great facility here and it's better than just about anywhere you can go. Dillion (Day) and I still live together, so we are going to be up here and pushing each other to get ready for the next phase. We'll be here until May 1st and just trying to figure things out."

Pro teams have already been in touch with Beckwith's representation to express their interest in potentially signing Beckwith once the NFL franchises begin making their roster selections.

"We have met with a few teams and you hear certain things, but at the end of the day, you don't really know anything until May, which is the worst part of this," Beckwith said. "They give you feedback and say their interested, but you know that those guys are reporting to bigger guys over their heads. At the end of the day, you just don't know what is going to happen until May."

It is a relative certainty that Beckwith will sign a professional contract of some sort and be on a pro roster once fall camps begin. The personable sled pusher may be drafted or he may go the free agent route, but the mere thought of an offensive lineman from one of Mississippi's smallest classifications mixing it up with the big boys is enough to make one smile.

The odds are difficult to calculate, but in the end they are not important. If the truth were told, the odds have not always been in Ben Beckwith's favor.

Conventional wisdom suggests Beckwith should not have been here in the first place, but he beat the odds and simply outworked others to win a starting spot in the SEC. He has the work ethic and character to earn a spot with the game of football's top talents. It is the stuff that dreams are made of.

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