"For me, SMU was not too big and not too small. It was just right for me. The coaching staff there is really great. They are very nice. I just feel like I really fit in well there," stated Beard to PonyStampede.com. "Coach Jones was in a meeting so I had to talk to Coach Suan. He asked me, ‘so what are you thinking?' I told him that I was ready to commit and he had a big smile on his face. He gave me a hug and everything. He kept telling me thank you. They just really made me feel like I was part of the team. It was a pretty good feeling."
Beard, ranked as the No. 59 middle linebacker in the country by Scout.com, picked SMU over offers from Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, and Wyoming. Teams also like Baylor, TCU, and Arkansas were showing interest in the senior.
The anchor of the Lumberton defense this season, Beard recorded 97 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, four sacks, and three forced fumbles.
"I come downhill and I'm quick to the ball. I tackle well because I work hard and have good technique," stated Beard. "I want to improve my angles when I run to the ball. I'm also trying to get faster."
Like many recruits, Beard is excited for the recruiting process to be over.
"I'm really relieved. I can now focus on some hunting and fishing. (Laughter) No, I really want to be in the best shape of my life when I get to SMU. I want to be able to hopefully get a starting job," said Beard. "I'm going to work my butt off while I have this time off. I know it's going to be hard, but I'm going to try to start next year."
Like other recruits that were in attendance yesterday, Beard was very impressed with the direction that SMU is head.
"It was awesome. It was a great game. SMU is a young team and they are going to even be better next year. With Coach June Jones there, the sky is endless. I really felt like I could help them out."
In a previous Scout.com article, Beard stated that he plans to major in wildlife biology and reports a 2.6 core GPA.