It's been a flurry for Harrison Beck since the last game for Countryside high school in Clearwater, Florida.
Almost a blur it seems has the time been since he last took the field. In that time Harrison has managed to take some unofficial visits, attend some camps, even see a Spring game and yes, decide where he's going to go to college.
The early decision deciding where he wanted to go to college, Harrison looks back on as a good thing because for one, where he wanted to go really never changed and two, now he doesn't have to worry about it anymore. "I always knew I was going to go to Nebraska." Harrison said. "I liked everything about them and it was just perfect for me, so it wasn't really that hard of a decision."
"And now, I don't have to deal with all that stuff, so I can just concentrate on my Senior season and making it to the state title."
Coming off a 10-2 season, the best in school history, Beck and his teammates are on the springboard to what they all hope is another record-setting performance for the program. It certainly beats the year Countryside had prior to Beck taking over the reins, the Cougars going just 2-8. "When you come off a season like that, some people just don't really care." Beck said of Countryside following the two-win campaign. "You come off a season like we had last year and everyone is pumped because now they want to see if we can all get a little farther."
According to Beck, his team is primed to do just that, returning a bevy of starters on both sides and Harrison saying of his offensive line, "There's not one guy below 6'3" and around 270 pounds.".
There's nothing like a great offensive line to make a quarterback feel almost invincible, but rather than hoping to become accustomed to ample protection, Beck is ironically looking forward to the times when there's not. "I just want to get that rush going and get used to it." he said. "You're going to get it at some point, so better to get used to it now rather than go into your first game and be surprised."
That's something you aren't likely to see Beck be at any point of his brief career. A player who relishes the unseen and embraces the serendipity of live-action, Beck's knack for improvisation caters on making something out of a possibly irretrievable scenario. "That's the best." Beck stated of pulling plays out of nowhere. "Make things happen, do what they don't expect, keep the defense guessing because they don't know what you are going to do."
"If you can do that consistently, you've already got that defense worried every time you take the field."
Oh, I'm sure they are already worried, but Beck said that he relishes the fact that teams can't just expect to bear the brunt of Countryside's attack, hoping to take it into the last parts of the game and steal a win. No, that's when Harrison says that if his team is ahead, they are putting you away or if they are behind, they are stealing it right back. "The biggest thing last year was that we were so well conditioned." he said. "We might be losing, but we come back and end up blowing them out."
"In the fourth quarter, we aren't the ones bending over putting our hands on our knees."
Amidst the almost consistent mid-80 to mid-90 degree temperatures down in Florida, you'd think that conditioning would be easy, but even in that kind of heat Beck said that you still have to want to crank it up just a little more. "When we run, I'm kind of like that one guy that says ‘hey coach, how come we aren't running more?". he said. "I say it to tick people off more than anything because there's always this one guy that says ‘this sucks, I hate running' and I just tell the coach this is easy, that way we can run some more."
You'd think that's a fast way not to win any friends out there on the field, purposefully trying to get under others' skins. As always with Beck though, there's a method to his madness and his method always comes back to winning. "This year we don't have any real complainers." he said. "And you can't have that if you are trying to win a state title. This year, everyone wants to work hard, everyone wants to get out there and practice and everyone wants to get better."
"If you are going to win a state title, every single person has to be on the same page and I think we have that this year."
Beck's mentality is a product of both his indomitable drive to win, but also is a by-product of a luxury he has this year. That luxury in being already committed to a school and an "elite" school at that. While other recruits will be battling with both football and the recruiting process throughout their final year of ball, Harrison has only one thing on his mind. "That's one of the best things." Harrison said of having this decision in the rearview mirror. "I don't have to worry about talking to all those coaches. I don't have to worry about making visits or stuff like that. I can just concentrate on my football season and what we have to do to win."
"The recruiting process was fun and all, but having just this season to worry about, that's the best thing right there."
Harrison will make one visit though, that of course his official visit to NU. The actual date of that visit is up in the air, Beck stating that it could be either for the Missouri game (Oct. 30) or NU's last regular season game against Colorado on November 26.
Truthfully, that game and that visit isn't foremost in Beck's mind nor are the goals he has as a future Husker. He's not worried right now about being a future Husker, rather he's worried about being a Cougar right now. Beck did say though that in the end, the goals are always the same. "I don't care if I am in the backyard playing with guys just for fun, I still want to win."he said. "It doesn't matter what uniform you are wearing, that's all you should want to do."
"My last season here, we never want to lose a game and when I get to Nebraska, that's not going to change - I'll want to win every game I play there."
"People ask me what kind of goals I have and my goals are always the same - I just want to win."
Steve Ryan can be reached at SteveRyan@bigredreport.com or 402-476-5006