January is the time when offers go out to players you’ve been waiting for or to recruits you never knew even existed.
In the case of Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna Community College outside linebacker Emmanuel Beal and Oklahoma, it’s the latter portion.
At least for most of OU fans. Beal, a relative unknown to the recruiting world, became a name to watch in a hurry when he was offered by the Sooners earlier this week.
Linebackers coach Tim Kish visited Beal on Tuesday and implied an offer would be made. On Wednesday, the offer was finalized and Beal will be one of two Lackawanna players in town this weekend for an official visit.
“It’s really exciting for me,” Beal said. “It’s a chance to play against the Big 12 and go up against major competition.”
Based on his offer sheet, some were surprised he didn’t just commit right there on the spot. Although Beal’s hope is he loves Norman and can call OU home, he said he 100 percent needs to make the visit to make the call.
Beal said the interest started heating up in a major way last week before really going into another gear this week. Beal was set to visit Arizona this weekend, but that all changed when the Sooners showed they were interested.
Beal will be visiting with teammate Kapri Doucet, who was a one-time Arizona commit. The issue is the coach that offered Doucet and Beal is no longer with the Wildcats. Doucet backed out of his commitment, while Beal admitted he hasn’t had one word of contact with Arizona since the coaching change.
Beal is a three-for-two guy so he could redshirt in 2016, if necessary and still have two more years to play. You watch his film, and it’s obvious what coaches see in him. They see the next Eric Striker, time will tell if that pans out.
Coming out of high school in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Beal’s stock was on the rise. Schools like Michigan State and Notre Dame were seriously involved in his recruitment at defensive end. But once it became clear he wasn’t going to qualify, the offers and interest disappeared.
Beal was a 6-foot-2, 205-pound defensive end for Lackawanna in 2014 before making the switch to outside linebacker this season. To go with that, he said he is now 220 pounds.
“I’m someone that doesn’t get tired,” Beal said. “I go 100 percent all the time. I’m a lot faster than I was before and aware of what I need to do.”
Because of the move, Beal understands why his recruitment took a while to take off. He’s not mad or bitter, simply happy OU is giving him that chance after playing outside linebacker for just one year.
His epiphany moment came earlier this season playing against five-star offensive tackle Charles Baldwin. OU pursued Baldwin, but he ultimately picked Alabama. Beal said it was a great learning experience for him to realize he can compete with the big boys.
“It taught me that it doesn’t matter who you are and what your ranking is,” Beal said. “When you get out there, it’s about what you do on the field.”
Beal has offers from schools like Utah State and New Mexico and made an official visit to Ball State last month. OU has been down this path before. Nobody knew who Will Johnson was, either, before the Sooners snatched him up.
OU will be hoping to do that again one more time with Beal.null