“Christian is one of the hardest working guys – I think that’s what’s special about him,” East Forsyth head coach Todd Willert said. “To be as young as he is and to be as talented as he is, it doesn’t go to his head – he still works harder than anybody else. He just truly loves the game – you can see it in his eye.
“The unique thing about him – he’s returned a punt and a kick [for touchdowns], he’s caught passes for touchdowns, he’s ran for touchdown. He’s just so versatile. You could probably put him at DB – he’s that athletic.
“The other thing that’s great: he understands the game of football. We have him playing five, six positions. He absorbs football.”
In a complementing role as a freshman, Beal rushed for 657 yards and five touchdowns on 97 carries, while catching 25 passes for 365 yards and three scores. He also accumulated 216 yards.
This season, Beal is the focal point of East Forsyth’s offense lining up at tailback, fullback, quarterback, and slot and outside receiver. He also returns kickoffs and punts.
“We use him as much as possible,” Willert said.
That usage has allowed Beal to equal his touchdown count after just four games, while also accumulating 893 all-purpose yards. He has averaged 10.8 yards on 40 rushes, 20.3 yards on 15 receptions, 22.0 yards on four kickoff returns, and 23.3 yards on three punt returns.
Beal took his first recruiting trip a couple of weekends back. He attended North Carolina’s “Stripe Out” game.
“It was a great atmosphere,” Beal said. “The coaches show love. They really like me. The student section was really loud.”
Prior to kickoff, Beal sat down with Larry Fedora and Keith Gilmore, his primary recruiter.
“They talked about education,” Beal said. “They talked about putting guys in positions to succeed on and off the field.”
The experience has pushed UNC atop Beal’s early leader board.
“North Carolina is my favorite, because I actually got to talk to their coaches and they talked so much about grades,” Beal said.
In addition to UNC, Beal is hearing from Clemson, Duke, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. Those schools see him as either a running back or slot receiver.
“He could do so many things,” Willert said. “That’s why so many colleges are so attracted to him so early right now.”
UNC has penciled Beal in as a future A-back, but how he progresses the next couple of seasons will determine what position UNC will actually pursue him for. During an evaluation visit last Friday, Gilmore said just that.
“It’s like he said, the recruiting business has gotten so crazy to be recruiting a sophomore is just unbelievable,” Willert said. “Coach Gilmore said the kid has two more years to grow before he even gets to college. They’re anxious to see that growth. Coach just said when they’re that young, you just don’t know how much bigger they’re going to get. So [UNC could project Beal] from anywhere from an A-back to a running back to a slot receiver. They’re just recruiting him as an athlete. But like Coach said, he’s a football player.”
Beal plans to take his second recruiting trip this weekend to Wake Forest to watch the Demon Deacons host Army. He’s also in the process of scheduling a trip to Penn State for a game.
In the classroom, Beal maintains a 3.0 GPA… Beal grew up a fan of Oregon because of its uniforms and UNC because of its proximity… Beal is a member of East Forsyth’s track team running in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dashes, and 4x100 relay. His personal best times include 10.82, 22.1, and 52.4 seconds, respectively.
Christian Beal Profile
2017 Target: Christian Beal
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