December 11, 2009

Sack proficient defensive end takes in Tulane

Wendell Beckwith just wants to get to the quarterback.

But he still has to pick which uniform to do it in.

The defensive end prospect from Clinton HS prides himself on an ability to get around tackles, work up the field and change the game in the backfield.

"I'm a pass rusher, no doubt about it," Beckwith said. "I really like getting after it and going for sacks and I've done well the last two years by doing that."

As a junior he piled up 87 tackles, 18.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss. Even with defenses keying on him as a senior, Beckwith managed 17 sacks and another 80-plus tackles.

Those numbers and his ferocious work in pass defense, earned him scholarship offers from Minnesota, Southern Miss, Tulsa and Tulane. After taking a visit to Minneapolis last month to see Minnesota, Beckwith is staying closer to home this weekend with a trip 100 miles south to New Orleans on an official visit at Tulane.

He will join 16 Green Wave commitments and fellow defensive prospect Dominique Robertson this weekend at the Wilson Center, for an up close look at what Tulane has to offer.

"I always have had lots of interest in Tulane, specifically because of location," Beckwith said. "It's really close to home and I like that. My family would get a chance to go to the games too. I've always liked the city of New Orleans and I think it's a great school."

A glance toward the Green Wave's thin depth chart at defensive end suits the 6-foot-4, 210 pounder as well. The opportunity to play early and contribute often is one of Tulane's top selling points and something which piqued his interest.

After losing its top two defensive ends from a year ago, Logan Kelley and Adam Kwentua, the Wave will be trying out some new pass rushers and Beckwith could be in the mix as soon as he steps on campus. Playing in the spread-happy Conference USA West Division also adds some appeal, since it allows pass-rushers a wealth of opportunity.

"The chance to play early is a real plus," Beckwith said. "I was told the numbers there are pretty small at defensive end. It gives me a chance to play quickly, which would be great.

"I want a chance to get to the quarterback and I think both the depth chart and the conference could work with that."

While still unsure of his timeline for a commitment, he didn't rule out the possibility of ending his recruitment at any time.

For Beckwith, it's not about when, it's about where. When he finds the place which suits him, that's when things will slow down.

"There's a lot of questions I have to ask and I am going to make sure to know what I want," Beckwith said. "Hopefully I will find what I'm looking for, and go from there."

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