As their college football careers wind down, the seniors have a tradition where each member of the class gets up in front of his teammates and reflects on his best memories at SMU.
It's something that June Jones has his players do.
Cole Beasley, a four-year letterman, said he'll have a hard time figuring out what to say when it's his turn to stand up in front of his football family.
"The Hawaii Bowl was definitely one of [my favorite moments]," Beasley said. "And even though I didn't play this year, TCU was a great moment, too. I don't know which is my best…Probably just the opportunity to be here really, because I didn't have many scholarship offers."
Beasley has come quite a long way. From not having many offers like he said, to being undersized for a receiver (5-foot-9, 177 lbs.) to finishing his collegiate career second in Conference USA in receiving yards per game (86.7) and receptions (79) and fourth in the league in total receiving yards (954).
Now he says he'll take the necessary steps to have his name called in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Beasley finished up what could be his last set of final exams ever this week. He said he could leave SMU early in the spring to work out for NFL teams.
"But I'm not going to worry about that until after the bowl game," he said. "Right now it's all about these last moments I get to spend with my teammates. It's all about enjoying it and the biggest way to enjoy it is to go out and get a victory. So that's the plan."
As he and his teammates have been trying to savor every last minute they have of the season, a few newsworthy things have come up in the last few weeks to derail their togetherness.
Two weeks ago, it appeared that Jones was going to abandon the Mustangs for some Sun Devils. That didn't turn out the way Jones had expected, and now he's back at SMU for what he says will be his last coaching gig.
Beasley, a four-year player and one of the team's main leaders, said he didn't have "any negative thoughts about it."
"I understand it's a business and I know coach Jones loves being here in Dallas and coaching the Mustangs," he said. "But on the other end, he has a family he needs to take care of and he has his own reasons and they had to be important for him to leave here and go to Arizona State.
"But he's got responsibilities, too and he was just thinking about those and what's best for him and his family."
Not exactly the type of response one might expect from a player who's put his blood, sweat and tears into a program for four years, but actually it's not that surprising as Beasley is a mature player who is able to see things in big picture form.
Beasley said after the chaos subsided, Jones spoke to his players.
"He gathered us up the other day and explained everything that happened," Beasley said. "He talked to us about what his thought process was behind it. We're at a good place now and the team is focused on going out and getting this bowl victory."
Even if Jones had left, Beasley is confident enough that he and his team would have been able to go out and execute against Pitt no matter what.
"Even though coach Jones is our leader and everything out there on the football field, I still feel like our senior class, we were still getting everyone ready to win a bowl game no matter if he was coaching us or not," he said. "We remember everything he's told us and what the coaches have been teaching us, so if we had to go with somebody different, we still would have been ready to play and get this bowl victory for the seniors."
Jones said earlier this week that he had some discussions one-on-one with certain players. Beasley said he was not one of them.
This week the younger players who don't usually take reps were getting to play first-team. As a parting gift, Beasley was helping coach them along, sharing insights and tips.
"I've been here a long time and I'm real familiar with the offense and I'm just helping out the young guys to make sure they know what they're doing so they're prepared for that day when they step under the lights," Beasley said.
Asked which young guy has stood out to him the most, Beasley said Jeremy Johnson.
"He's caught on real quick," Beasley said. "He ain't scared to stick his nose in there and play football."
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