Kendell Beckwith was one of the top recruits signed by LSU this past winter despite having some uncertainty where ultimately would play for the Tigers. He was considered a four-star recruit by all the major recruiting services after a standout career at East Feliciana in Jackson, LA where he played quarterback and roamed around on defense.
He was deemed an athlete by Rivals and ESPN, an outside linebacker by 247Sports and a defensive end by Scout, and it’s still a question where he’ll be suited best at LSU but there is no question that Beckwith is a future star.
Beckwith ended the threat of a comeback by Florida on Saturday with a sack and forced fumble on fourth down with the Gators trying to cut into the Tiger lead late. He has a quick first step, his athleticism and ability to play in space is apparent and we saw his pursuit when he brought Murphy down.
So is his future at outside linebacker or defensive end? Les Miles did his best to answer that question in his press conference on Monday.
“We’d like to get Kendall Beckwith on the field. We just feel like there’s a number of places that he can play a lot of football, and we’re getting some good linebacker play, and we think he’d be a great linebacker. We’re getting some good defensive end play, and we think that he can be a very, very talented defensive end. We’d just like to get him to the field at the spot that would benefit us all.” Source: NOLA.com
This is the perfect approach by Miles, defensive coordinator John Chavis and defensive line coach Brick Haley to move Beckwith around and see where he fits best. We’ve seen him make a splash at defensive end and that is where I believe he is suited best and profiles best for a potential NFL career. However, there is no point in limiting Beckwith this early in his career and seeing what he is capable of doing on the field.
At 6-3, 246-pounds, Beckwith is only going to get bigger, stronger, faster and enhance his football instincts once he settles in at a position. He can be every bit as good as former LSU defensive linemen, Barkevious Mingo who went 6th in the NFL draft this spring.
Beckwith has a long way to go to fulfill that potential though and he has at least 2.5 more seasons to do so, but after his first sack vs. Florida the first glimpse of his future success was on display for the fans at Tiger Stadium and the millions watching at home. He’ll continue to get more reps each week as he gets more comfortable within the system and the speed of the SEC.
The sky is the limit for Beckwith and with the great coaching he’ll receive at LSU, he should be the next great LSU defensive lineman.