Wide receiver Derek Beck, the son of former WVU running back Curlin Beck, took part in WVU's football camp on the same field where his father lettered the last three years of his college career. While there, he had the chance to get a look at West Virginia's campus, and liked many of the things that attracted his father, an Ohio native, to the school 30 years ago.
"The camp was nice, and I like that fact that the campus and everything is like it's own little town," Derek observed. "The camp was very helpful. They showed me a lot of techniques to help me improve. The box drill was one good one. That helped me work on getting in and out of breaks, and to keep my arms pumping too. I think the things I learned will help me be a better receiver."
A tall, somewhat slender receiver, Beck doesn't resemble his father from an athletic build standpoint. Curlin was a shorter, stocky back with a quick burst and great straight line speed. He's most remembered for his untouched sprint draw for 42 yards and a touchdown which iced WVU's win over Oklahoma in 1982. Derek, however, is more of a glider, with smooth speed and good hands. He's set goals to improve his route running, make his breaks more crisp, and be more of a threat for his high school team, which concentrates on throwing the ball.
"I'd like to go for 50 catches and 1,000 yards," said Beck of his personal goals. "I want to help us keep up our winning tradition."
Those goals might seem a bit lofty when looking at Beck's juniors stats, which show just nine receptions. However, three of those went for scores, and he covered 330 yards on them – an average of more than 36 yards per catch. He also had 16 kickoff returns for 640 yards and another three scores, which shows his ability to make defenders miss in the open field. Given enough passes thrown his way, the numbers he would like to attain don't seem unreachable.
Beck has had to fight an abbreviated camp schedule, due to a number of snow days that had to be made up at the end of the school year. He didn't take his last final until June 21, which certainly cut down on his travel opportunities.
For now, Beck is on the interest list of the schools where he has camped, along with Rutgers, Delaware, and James Madison. He knows that his early senior schedule will play a big part in which schools offer him.
"West Virginia wants to see me keep working on getting in and out of my cuts and running crisper routes," he said. "Those are some of the things I'm working hard on this summer."
During the recruiting process, Curlin has offered some advice, but isn't pushing his son.
"Dad helps me and points me in the right direction. He tells me what to stay away from, but we haven't talked about individual schools much. It has been pretty good so far."