Defend It Like Beckum

Proving once again they will travel to any point in America to secure top grade gridiron talent, the Tennessee Vols are in the hunt for an athlete from Oak Creek, Wis., named Travis Beckum who at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds could play any position from safety to tight end.

Beckum plays wide receiver and outside linebacker at Oak Creek High School where he had 40 tackles, 12 sacks and eight interceptions en route to earning all-state honors as a junior. Beckum's combination of size, speed and athletic skills makes him one of the most prized prospects in the Midwest region where he is rated a top five prospect.

Also a standout on the basketball court, Beckum has drawn comparisons to former Miami all-American tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., and not surprisingly the Hurricanes are also vitally interested in the Wisconsin standout. Beckum grew up a fan of both the Canes and Florida State Seminoles so he's not adverse to coming south. He was offered early by Tennessee as well as Ohio State and Arkansas.

"Florida State told my coach that I have a scholarship," Beckum told The Insiders Dave Peters. "I think they are recruiting me for rush end. They are a good football program with a lot of success. Florida State is one of my top teams on my list.

"Miami came by my school this month also. They haven't offered yet but Coach Randy Shannon said that they are going to recruit me hard. Miami is a great program and they are also one of my top teams."

Beckum was the teammate of another highly recruited prospect in Ryhan Anderson who signed with Miami. Oak Creek head coach Joe Koch believes Beckum will be even more highly recruited than the celebrated Anderson. "Travis will be more highly recruited than Rhyan Anderson. We've had a lot of coaches come through the school this year looking at Ryhan and when they saw Travis in the weight-room, their jaws dropped. One college coach said he looks like Kellen Winslow Jr. right now."

Beckum's versatility is underscored by his stellar play and augmented by his tremendous strength. Although he has no plans to attend any football camps this summer, his 360-pound bench press will open the eyes of a lot of scouts.

Beckum is originally from Orange County, Calif., and lived in Detroit, Mich., before moving to Wisconsin so his allegiance to UW isn't deep although it is a college he'll consider.

Oak Creek has another standout prospect in 6-foot-5, 243-pound defensive end Raymond Henderson who has offers from Notre Dame, Penn State, Iowa and Arkansas. Henderson recorded 100 stops and 18 sacks as a junior. Beckum is a prospect worth the wait.

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