Despite receiving heavy interest from top programs nationwide, Beckum chose to stay close to home: "I wanted to be close to my mother," Beckum said. "Coach [Brian] Murphy did a great job recruiting me."
Beckum, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound athlete, did a bit of everything at Oak Creek, where he lettered four times and played linebacker, defensive end, safety, corner, tight end and wide receiver.
In his senior year, Beckum was named consensus state player of the year, the No. 1 defensive end prospect in the nation by Scout.com and the No. 5 linebacker prospect in the nation by SchoolSports.com. He recorded 108 tackles, 38 tackles for loss, 15 quarterback sacks, seven interceptions, eight forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and four blocked kicks. Those gaudy statistics helped him earn SuperPrep All-American, Parade All-American and Scout.com All-American honors.
Beckum will begin his UW career at sam linebacker but he could play a number of positions for the Badgers, including defensive end.
"I'll probably eventually play defensive end but I'll have to gain a little weight before I do that," Beckum said. "I want to stick at linebacker first and get my experience my freshman year, then who knows what could happen my sophomore year. That's probably when it all is going to happen. I know that I will gain a lot of weight next year. If I stay at linebacker, I'm going to be huge for a linebacker… By next year I want to be at least 240."
BadgerNation.com: Back when you verbally committed, you and your high school coach (Joe Koch) said that you would like to eventually play offense as well. Since signing day, Wisconsin coaches have also stated that is a possibility. Do you still want to play offense as well as defense?
Travis Beckum: "Yeah, I want to play offense. That would be real fun to play offense. I'm the type of player, I like to put stuff on my shoulders. I like to try to see how people look upon me to do things and get things done.
"Defense wins championships and when our defense isn't out there, our offense is and our offense needs to go out there step it up to try to help win a game. It would be real fun if I could play a little offense next year."
BN: What are your goals for your freshman year?
TB: "Just to get experience for the next year. Just hopefully go to the Rose Bowl. Just basically get the experience for the next year so I can step up as a sophomore."
BN: When your UW career is complete, what do you hope to see when you look back?
TB: "To be the best player to ever come out of there. Who knows if that happens. After college hopefully I can go to the NFL, hopefully God will bless me to where I can be like that good… Pretty much it depends on how I do in the offseason."
BN: Were you happy when signing day arrived?
TB: "Yeah, finally get rid of all those colleges calling."
BN: What are you most proud of from your prep career?
TB: "Just all the honorable things that I got. I wish I would have got Gatorade but I guess just how the outcome… I wish we would have won state but I guess I had a really good career."
[Beckum's future Wisconsin teammate, Andy Kemp, received Gatorade Player of the Year honors in Wisconsin. Beckum was named player of the year by the Associated Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin Football Coaches Association]
BN: What was your favorite college team growing up?
TB: "Miami. But I really don't watch football."
BN: Who was your favorite athlete?
TB: "[Michael] Jordan. I just love everything he did. He's still my idle today. I just admire everything he did."
BN: When do you expect to arrive on campus?
TB: "Sometime in the summer probably. I have no idea yet."