Giants Giddy Over Nabbing Beckum

The decision for a star college player to turn pro after a stellar junior season can often conjure up thoughts of the rock group The Clash …

Should I stay or should I go?

After Travis Beckum led the nation's tight ends in yards during his junior year, he thought about going pro, a decision that may have made him a first-round pick.

"I just was having so much success at my position I thought it would be good to have another year under my belt," Beckum said.

Of course, anyone who can actually predict the future would be the world's first zillionaire.

As fate would have it, Beckum experienced one of those nightmare senior seasons that dropped him down in the draft to the third round.

During fall camp, Beckum strained his right hamstring and didn't play the first two games. Like any competitive star, he rushed back too early and reinjured his hamstring against Michigan. Then against Illinois he fractured his left fibula and was lost for the season.

Of course, the Giants hadn't forgotten how Beckum had not only bent, but flat out broken multiple Big Ten defenses during his sophomore and junior seasons. Performances that got him drafted by the G-men with the lucky 100th pick.

As a sophomore he put up wide receiver numbers – grabbing 61 passes for 900 yards and 5 TDs. That included dominating performances against Northwestern: 8 for 107 yards; 5 catches for 118 yards and 2 TDs vs. Minnesota; and 5 grabs for 135 yards against Buffalo.

Junior year, the 6-3, 240-pound gazelle enjoyed an even better year. His 75 catches for 982 yards led the nation. Plus, he blew away the Big Ten with four jaw-dropping performances: 10 catches for 132 yards and a TD vs. Michigan State; 11 receptions for 160 against Illinois; 9 touches for 140 and a score vs. Ohio State; and 6 grabs for 106 yards and a TD against Michigan.

And the most astonishing part of those eye-bulging, back-to-back seasons? It was the first time Beckum had ever played tight end.

From high school to his freshman year at Wisconsin, Beckum played linebacker.

Try that, Brian Urlacher!

"It was my idea to switch," Beckum said. And the coaches reaction?

"The coach kind of giggled at me . . . but I made the transition in spring ball, and I'm at where I'm at now."

Beckum, who is the first to admit that his forte is receiving, not blocking, explained his unbelievable pass-catching talent with a kind of folksy confidence: "I knew I had pretty good hands and with some work I could learn to run routes… the coaches put me in a great position to have success."

The kind of success the Giants are clearly excited about.

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