Beckum eyes move to Madison

Oak Creek prep star is ready for next phase in his football career

Travis Beckum, the high school All-American football player who signed a letter of intent to the University of Wisconsin back in February, will soon make his move from his Milwaukee home to Madison, embarking on the first stage of his career as a Badger student-athlete.

Beckum recently graduated from Oak Creek High School, where last year he was the Wisconsin state player of the year and one of the top-ranked prep football recruits in the nation.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Beckum said that he plans to move to Madison sometime in the next few weeks, likely in early July. Once he makes it to UW, Beckum will join his Badger teammates in summer conditioning workouts.

Since his high school career ended last fall, Beckum has been working out at Oak Creek, focusing on building strength and athleticism for his future collegiate career. He played basketball for part of Oak Creek's season last winter, but gave up that sport to concentrate on football.

Part of the reason Beckum gave up hoops, he said, was because he feared that he could get injured playing the sport, which would interrupt his regimen of weight lifting and running. That is also a primary reason why Beckum chose to decline an invitation to compete in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Shrine Bowl all-star game.

"It's another thing about getting hurt too and pushing my chances," Beckum said.

Three of Beckum's future teammates are on Shrine rosters for the July 16 event: Milwaukee Vincent linebacker DeAndre Levy and walk-on Waukesha West wide receiver Matt Gifford on the South and Hudson offensive lineman Eric Vanden Heuvel on the North.

Beckum said he has not developed a friendship with any of the incoming freshmen yet, but he is eager to get to know his teammates when he arrives. He will room with Shane Carter, a defensive back/wide receiver from Troy, Ohio.

When asked what he was looking forward to in Madison, Beckum replied: "Just basically starting practicing, getting to know the guys and becoming a part of (the team), becoming a Badger, basically."

Beckum said he currently stands 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and has built his bench press up to 415 pounds.

A star on each side of the ball with Oak Creek, Beckum still hopes to have an opportunity to play both ways in college. And he still expects to begin his career as a sam (strong side) linebacker.

There has been some speculation that Beckum's college career could be delayed because of academic issues. But Beckum said that he is qualified with the NCAA Clearinghouse. He said he had a cumulative 2.6 grade-point average at Oak Creek and that he scored a 19 on his ACT.


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