Junior Ben Beckwith Is A Rare Talent

Benton (MS) Academy junior lineman Ben Beckwith (6-4, 295, 5.1) is expected to be one of the top football players in the Mississippi academy ranks this coming season.

When he first saw Ben Beckwith, Benton Academy head football coach John Baker knew he had something special.

"When I started coaching here as a junior high coach, he was a 7th grader and I knew he was going to be a pretty good athlete," said Baker. "He was dominating even then."

And Beckwith has continued to progress through the years.

"I've played some big ole boys before and it's rare to find one with the size, speed, strength and also have that mean streak about him," noted Baker. "And he's got a little bit of a mean streak in him."

He's also a very versatile player.

"He can play any position on our offensive line - center, guard, tackle," said Baker. "He also kicks for us and we even moved him out to defensive end last year. He even ran some fullback for us the last game of the season. It's rare you find a talent like him."

And those rare talents are exactly what college coaches are looking for when on the recruiting trail.

"The recruiting is just starting to happen with him," said Baker. "It's basically sending out tapes of him and coaches calling me to see if I can get him to come down for a ballgame."

So far, two schools have seen him in person.

"He's been to several Ole Miss ball games and he went to Auburn's camp last year," said Baker. "He will probably go to Ole Miss' and LSU's camps this year. And he will be at Ole Miss' Junior Day this weekend."

It's not surprising that Beckwith has attended several Ole Miss ball games and will be attending their Junior Day this weekend.

"My favorite school is Ole Miss," said Beckwith. "We are big supporters. I've grown up a big, die-hard Rebel fan my whole life. I'm pretty sure I've had season tickets since I was born. My brother goes to school up there. I just love everything about that school."

However, while Ole Miss appears to have a significant advantage with the youngster when it comes to recruiting, Beckwith's still very much open to overtures from all schools, especially the schools from Mississippi and the south.

"I'm interested in Ole Miss, (Mississippi) State, Southern (Miss) ... the big three from here," said Beckwith, who is projected to play offensive line on the next level. "I've also heard from LSU and Auburn. But I would love to play in Mississippi. I like the state and like being in the south."

And it's very possible that Beckwith will be given the opportunity to play for one or more of those southern colleges.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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