During any particular day, you are likely to find Harrison Beck at a variety of places, doing a variety of things. Practicing with his teammates for the Spring, studying at home, talking to coaches on the phone and of course, entertaining the myriad interviews wondering what he's doing, thinking and possibly going to do in regards to his future college. There is one place you are likely NOT to find Beck though.
At the beach.
Yes, that's right. At the beach. You see, this is on Floridian that is definitely not your stereotypical native of the Sunshine State. "I hate the beach." Beck stated. "I wish there was no beach."
Curiosity beckons one as you would have to wonder just what could make a young man from Florida not love being on the coast of the Atlantic. "This was a long time ago", Harrison said " but I was snorkeling when I spotted a Lemonhead shark behind me. My friends had already been teasing me about sharks even before we got in, so when I saw the shark, I freaked out."
Not knowing whether the shark was looking at him as just an object or a midday snack, Harrison swam hastily back to the boat, but instead of getting on the boat immediately, Beck was just as hastily stopped. "They said we couldn't get back on the boat." Harrison said. "I guess there was like a school of Barracuda swimming around under the boat and we couldn't get back on."
So, there Beck is, in the water, Lemonhead shark behind him, a school of Barracuda circling close in proximity and his sister, well, Harrison said she was less than sympathetic. "There I am sitting in the water freaking out and she's looking for her camera."
It doesn't stop there.
No, the regaling only continues as Beck recalls a couple of other incidents with the local wildlife. "We were going to go canoeing and I had my dog with me." he said. "A state ranger or trooper said that I shouldn't take my dog with me because an Alligator could just come up into the canoe and just take my dog out."
"So, the whole time we're out there, I am sure some Alligator is going to pop up and rip my arm off trying to get to my dog."
Not even a lazy day at a state park, relaxing, enjoying the company of friends and family could keep Beck from having yet another close encounter with the furry kind. "My mom had left the back door of my car open and the cooler was back there." he said. "And, when we got back, there was this Raccoon that had opened up the cooler and was sitting there eating a slice of cheese."
"And then, my mom was taking some chicken out to go grill and she got surrounded by all these crazy raccoons that were trying to get to the chicken, so she just threw it into the trees."
"I tell ya, I think I am traumatized by Florida animals."
It's ironic to think that if Harrison Beck does decide to play his college ball outside of the Sunshine State, his future coach might have to thank the animals down there as much as his own recruiting prowess for the pledge.
And, speaking of that, we segue back into what most are interested to hear. The recruiting, the month of May and what Harrison Beck is doing and thinking right now.
Well, it's May and that means it's evaluation time which basically means coaches are visiting to watch practice and calling when they aren't visiting. Such has been the case for Beck as Michigan just called a couple of days ago, Iowa offered him in writing last week and the local powerhouses have all been in this week to watch him practice.
Beck is trying to keep it all in perspective.
"I'm really not trying to think about it." Beck said of the attention. "I'm just going out there, throwing it around and having a lot of fun."
Fun aside, the constant attention and scrutiny certainly doesn't hurt as it's a definite contributing factor to Harrison stating that before his season starts, he's going to know where his future college will be. "Oh yeah, I am definitely making a decision before that." he said. "I'm not going through all that."
With Iowa offering recently, that has obviously changed the picture somewhat as Harrison's dad attended UI. Beck though, his feelings that he's openly stated about Nebraska still being the favorite are according to him, still very much intact. "Nebraska is big with me." Beck stated. "There's just no question about it and no doubt that they are a big team with me."
Because the time-frame for Beck's decision is so short, that's putting pressure on schools to jump in there and throw offers on the table. Beck said that Southern Florida was bringing one up personally, but that's probably just the start.
It's double-digit offers and counting for Beck as he's managed to do what in Florida is very hard to do.....stand out. Beck will no doubt be a southeastern star to watch, but his name will be amongst the elite on the national scale as well and all early indications seem to point that this might well come down to the University of Nebraska and Iowa.
At this point, Harrison obviously wouldn't narrow it down that far, but when it comes to the overall perspective, he's not worried about anything right now other than working with his team. "The attention is nice and all, but practice is going good even just a couple of days in." Beck stated. "There's new guys to bring in, a lot of stuff to do and I am just having fun being out there, slinging it around."
"I'm going to make my decision before the season starts, but we're practicing now, so that's what really matters."
We will definitely be keeping a close eye on Beck throughout this month and of course, this so-called "off-season" as his recruiting is bound to heat up to almost inferno-like proportions. Stay tuned.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619