INDIANAPOLIS — Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are two different types of players. They’re also the best of friends.
The receivers are two of many LSU players at the NFL Scouting Combine this weekend. While Landry was not made available to reporters Friday, Beckham talked about “the closest thing he has to a blood brother.”
“Jarvis is like a brother to me, and we wish nothing but the best for each other,” Beckham said Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. “Since Day One, we’ve been connected at the hip. He’s been there for me when I’m down, and I’ve been there for him. It’s a relationship that is going to continue for a lifetime.”
Beckham’s own family has contributed to his prowess as a football player. His parents were athletes, and he thinks that helps him in his venture to play in the NFL. Odell Sr. was a running back at LSU, and Beckham’s mother, Heather Van Norman, was a six-time NCAA track all-American at LSU and the current track coach at Nicholls State.
“It definitely made me who I am today,” Beckham said. “My mom coaching me up on the track side and my dad helping me in football.”
While Van Norman was a sprinter who excelled at the 400 meters and her son plays on a 100-yard field, the two have a bet after the combine to see who can run a faster mile. The wager hasn’t been set, but Beckham did joke that he doesn’t want to take any of his mom’s money.
“I keep telling her that I’m going to run with her and then go fast at the end,” he said. “I think she’s trying to psych herself out, trying to keep her confidence up.”
She even offers pointers after games.
“She’s got that track background down,” he said. “I might have a decent game, and she’ll text me saying, ‘Your form looks great.’ It’s funny coming from her, as a track coach.”
There is no such wager between Landry and Beckham over who will be picked first in the NFL draft this May.
“Whoever gets picked first, we’re going to be sitting there clapping and hoping he does the best he can,” Beckham said.
Both are considered first-round prospects, albeit with different styles. Beckham is a 5-foot-11, 198-pound speedster, and Landry is a sure-handed receiver who will make the difficult receptions.
“He’s a possession guy who’s going to catch everything around him,” Beckham said of the 6-1 Landry. “I’m someone who’s going to use my speed as my strength. Jarvis is a physical guy who is going to make the tough catches. I’m looking forward to seeing how the draft plays out.”
Beckham also excels on special teams as a returner and thinks that could help his draft stock.
“I definitely think I’m up there with the best (receivers),” Beckham said. “It just depends on what a team needs and what team likes you.”
While Beckham admires the play of former LSU and current Kansas City Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe, staying home in New Orleans and playing for the Saints is also appealing.
“I’d be a perfect fit there because of their offensive system and with Drew Brees at quarterback,” he said. “The way they use their receivers is great to see guys getting open and Drew Brees spreading the ball around.
“Honestly, wherever the chips fall, you’ve just got to deal with it and make the most of the opportunity.”