RECRUITING UPDATE: Odell Beckham
LSU among handful vying for Newman wide receiver
By RICHARD FISCHER
Tiger Rag Recruiting Contributor
After many years of passing over Newman players, LSU is looking to nab its second Greenie in as many years.
That’s because the Tigers are eyeing Newman wide receiver Odell Beckham for their 2011 class.
Beckham is being very highly recruited, having already received offers from LSU, Tulane, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Memphis, SMU and also has seen interest from Tennessee, Miami (Fl), and Oregon.
The wide receiver’s coach Nelson Stewart said Beckham is in no hurry to make his decision, and it’s too early to tell which way he’s leaning.
“Going through the process so far he’s trying to learn as much as he can,” said Stewart. “He’s not ready to commit yet.”
Stewart added that Beckham doesn’t want to commit until he gets all of his offers in.
“I think recruiting is obviously going to pick up as we get close to spring training and I expect more schools to look at him,” said Stewart. “He’s been really humbled by the experience, but he’s really excited about what’s in front of him.”
Because it’s so early in the recruiting process, Beckham still has much to learn about each school’s pros and cons
“[He'll] take time with his family, and go visit schools this summer,” said Stewart. “See what he wants to do; see what they have to say.”
Stewart stated that Beckham is very close to his family, and that factor may affect his decision to attend college close to home.
“I think he’d love to stay in the southeast,” said Stewart. “He loves LSU, Ole Miss, all those schools, but he also wants to see what’s out there, and I think that’s what he’s trying to figure out right now. He’s not opposed to leaving, but he does love the state of Louisiana.”
Entering his senior year at Newman, Beckham is projected to start on both sides of the ball at wide receiver and at defensive back.
“He’s a stand out at both and has to figure out where he sees himself in college,” said Stewart. “Probably more as a wide receiver, and that’ll play a role in [his decision].”
With Terrance Toliver entering his final season in purple and gold, LSU will be looking for a playmaker at wide receiver in the very near future.
“He’s a great leaper and has great speed,” said Stewart. “His hands are huge to put it lightly. He catches the ball extremely well.”
Beckham is listed at 5′11, 175 on Scout.com, but Stewart thinks Beckham will be taller and bigger by the time he gets to college.
“He’s still growing. He’s grown 3 inches in the last year and gained 20-30 pounds,” said Stewart. “He’s got a lot in front of him. He’s not done growing physically or mentally, and he’s matured a lot.”
As good as Beckham has been at Newman so far in his career, Stewart believes that Beckham has his best football ahead of him.
“I don’t think he’s reached his whole ability yet,” said Stewart. “If he continues to excel, I think they’re getting an outstanding wide receiver that can be successful at any level, works very hard, will compete, and really has all the intangibles you want to be just a phenomenal wide receiver.”