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Returning to school proved costly for linebacker Beckwith

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    By Tod Leonard

    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    6:08 p.m. July 28, 2009

    Chargers rookie linebacker Darry Beckwith could second-guess himself now, but what would be the point? It would be no more useful than tackling a running back after he's danced into the end zone.

    After the 2007 college football season, Beckwith's professional prospects couldn't have been much higher. He was the heart-and-soul middle linebacker on the LSU team that beat Ohio State in the BCS title game.

    In his first three years with the Tigers he'd enjoyed 34 wins, three bowl victories, an SEC championship and the crowning national title.

    There seemed little more to accomplish, especially given scouts' projections that he could go as high as the second round in the NFL draft.

    But out of loyalty to his school and a love for playing the college game, Beckwith stayed at LSU his senior year. His heart will probably still tell him it was the right move. In his brain he may wonder “what if?” for the rest of his life.

    Beckwith suffered a second, more serious injury to cartilage in his left knee in the second game of the 2008 season. Though he missed only two games and recovered to play in the final nine in a disappointing 8-5 campaign, the word around the NFL was that he was damaged goods.

    Originally projected as a possible third-or fourth-round pick in April's draft, Beckwith's prospects plummeted. His extended family gathered at his boyhood home in Baton Rouge, La., for the draft's second day, anticipating a joyous celebration at the first word he'd been picked.

    Instead, everyone picked at their food and had to bear the uncomfortable silence as Beckwith was completely passed over, going undrafted.

    “I don't want to say I felt like a failure, but ... ” Beckwith said Tuesday as he tried to pinpoint his emotions from that day. “It was one of the worst feelings you could possibly go through. Something that you put your blood and sweat into ... and you think you're going to be drafted.

    “I tried not to think about the past: 'What if I left my junior year?' But you can't dwell on the past. The draft is over. A lot of guys won't remember where you were drafted. It's what you do right now.”

    Beckwith said the Chargers called him in about the fifth round to tell him they were interested in signing him as a free agent. “It was kind of weird,” he said. But it was the only call he got all day.

    The night of the draft, when he felt at his lowest, Beckwith received a text message from a guy he'd never met. It was Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, welcoming him into the team family.

    “It meant a lot to me, coming from a guy of that magnitude,” Beckwith said. “That made me feel better.”

    Beckwith needs only to look around the locker room at Chargers Park to find inspirational stories about guys who were passed over and made it big. Tight end Antonio Gates, left guard Kris Dielman, linebacker Stephen Cooper and special teams star Kassim Osgood all went undrafted.

    “Teams passing on me like that, it's great motivation,” Beckwith said. “I know God blessed me with a lot of ability and talent to play this game. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm going to come out and prove it. The Chargers took a chance on me, and I can guarantee they won't regret it.”

    It will take more than motivation for the 6-foot, 235-pound Beckwith to do better than making the practice squad when camp is over. The team is deep at inside linebacker, and though the release of Matt Wilhelm might help, Beckwith still has veterans Kevin Burnett and Tim Dobbins in front of him.

    “I'm not nervous at all,” Beckwith said. “You have to seize every moment. I'm just thankful that I'm here. Everybody takes a different route.”
  2. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

    Nov 11, 2007
    I hope he does well :) love his attitude and respect him for sticking it out one more year in college, despite the lure of money in the pros.

    The competition at camp should be fun to watch :yes:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    If Beckwith rounds into shape during camp, he could be a real steal. He has enormous speed. He won't be a starter for a season or two, but he could be a serious asset if he stays healthy. With Wilhelm gone there is a spot he can compete for. He could also give Marques Harris a run for his money. It all depends on his health. He won't get as much slack as Buster.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. ntman68

    ntman68 Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    He should never second-guess finishing school. That is the best thing he could have done for his future.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. coachmarkos

    coachmarkos BoltTalker

    Jul 12, 2009
    I like this kid, and think he has a shot at the roster with Wilhelm gone now.

    He or the LB from Kansas (can't remember the name) both should be motivated by that.

    Also wondering if the TE Sperry has a chance to make the cut? (wondering if he could function in that H-back type position? can he block?)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

    Aug 12, 2006
    He's beaten out Wilhelm already.... not a bad start.


    Seriously though, never knew about the injury killing his draft status, I wish him the very best.

  7. Alpenbolt

    Alpenbolt BoltTalker

    Sep 9, 2006
    Berman will love this guy if he makes the cut.

    Darry Air Beckwith
  8. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Harris isn't on the team anymore.
  9. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

    Jul 12, 2007
    I like this kid
  10. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Absolutely. :tup:

    There is life after football.

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