JACKSON — Kendell Beckwith said he liked the snug fit of the jersey he received Thursday, signifying his selection to the sixth Under Armour All-America Football Game.
The 6-foot-3, 228-pound East Feliciana High senior standout said he also seeks the same kind of fit in a college. Beckwith acknowledged LSU and Alabama are the frontrunners in his recruitment battle during a news conference to announce his Under Armour selection held at EFHS.
“I’ll go where I feel the most comfortable,” Beckwith said. “I have to feel at home. LSU and Alabama are the top two. Places like Stanford and Notre Dame are nice, but they’re too far away. I want to say fairly close to home.”
In the weeks ahead, Beckwith said he is planning five official visits, including trips to Florida State, Clemson and Tennessee, along with those to LSU and Alabama. Beckwith, a quarterback-linebacker, is rated the No. 4 prospect in the state and 95th nationally. He is considered to be the No. 5 national prospect at linebacker.
Plans for Beckwith include a visit to Alabama on Nov. 10 in conjunction with the Crimson Tide’s game with Texas A&M. A Florida State visit is set for Thanksgiving. A connection with Tennessee is defensive back Prentiss Waggner, a former standout at Clinton High, which was consolidated with Jackson High after Beckwith’s freshman year.
Beckwith said LSU asked that he make his official visit in December, after the season. However, Beckwith said he plans to be in attendance for LSU’s Saturday game with South Carolina, which is an unofficial visit.
“LSU wants to be able to spend some time with me, which they can’t do on a game week,” Beckwith said. “I get along well with all the coaches, coach (Frank) Wilson, coach (John) Chavis and coach (Les) Miles.”
The Under Armour game is Jan. 4 at Tropicana Field in St. Peterburg, Fla. LSU commitment Jeryl Brazil of Loranger High and University High’s Tim Williams, are also scheduled to play in the annual all-star game that features 90 top players from across the nation.
“The biggest difference I see in him (Beckwith) is that he doesn’t press too much,” EFHS coach Cedric Anderson said. “He does a better job of letting the game come to him, and he just plays. That’s what I saw in the Zachary game.”
Beckwith passed for 403 yards in a 41-40 overtime loss to Class 5A Zachary, but also suffered an injury to his left shoul
der in that game three weeks ago. He has played just one full half since, and Anderson said Class 3A East Feliciana’s open date this Friday allows more time for Beckwith to heal.
“I want to be ready to finish the season strong and go to the playoffs,” Beckwith said. “That’s the main goal right now.”
Anderson complimented Beckwith on his handling of the recruiting process, noting he learned about the process during the recruitment of his older brother, Wendell Jr., a defensive lineman at Tulane. He is also a cousin of former LSU and Parkview Baptist linebacker Darry Beckwith.
Wendell Beckwith Sr. said he put all three of his sons, including Justin, now 14, at the center of the recruiting process for his older son three years ago. Wendell Beckwith Sr. said he has wife, Urhonda, have no plans to influence their son’s decision.
“We believe he’ll be able to make the best decision for himself,” the elder Beckwith said. “We emphasize education first. As long as he gets that education, we’ll be happy with whatever school he chooses.”
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