From corner to safety to outside linebacker, the 5-foot-11, 160-pound Beck made the most of where the Tigers had him positioned, especially last year.
Taking on one of the linebacker positions was a move Beck was unsure of, but just like every other position he played for the Tigers, he delivered.
“I wasn’t too sure about it (the move), but after we got into some games, I got to start blitzing and making sacks, which was something I didn’t get to do at safety,” Beck said. “It turned into a good thing, and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Beck posted 69 tackles (20 for lost yardage) and led the Tigers (9-3) with 13 sacks. He also caused a fumble, had a fumble return and broke up a pass.
The coaching staff at Shorter University took notice of Beck’s versatility. They offered him a walk-on position with the Hawks, which Beck officially accepted on Friday.
“It’s a great chance to get to move on,” said Beck, who also mulled playing for West Alabama and several other Division II schools. “I’d just like to thank all my coaches and everybody who’s pushed me over the years and helped me get to this point. It’s been a lot of hard work. There’s not many people who get to move on to college football. It’s just a great opportunity to keep playing and not have to sit around and watch football from now on.”
Cedar Bluff head coach Jonathan McWhorter is also glad Beck has the opportunity to continue his football playing days, even though he’ll be missed on Friday nights by the Tigers next fall.
“We’re excited when a student athlete of ours has an opportunity to get a degree and hopefully better themselves in the future with that degree,” McWhorter said. “On top of that, Kyle’s getting the opportunity to continue to play football, which he loves to do, and that’s just a plus.
“We’d love to keep him around here a little longer because he’s a kid we’ve leaned on the last two years on the defensive and offensive side of the ball. He was one of those kids we could count on to come to work hard every day. He’s a tough young man. He loves the physical aspect of the game, and he brings a level of toughness and has a great understanding of the game. That carries a lot of weight when you understand what you’re supposed to do, who’s supposed to be where and the concepts of the defense. They’re getting a great player.”
Shorter receivers coach Shawn Turner attended Beck’s walk-on signing Friday. He agreed with McWhorter that the Hawks are getting a talented player.
Turner said the Hawks plan to play Beck back at safety on the school’s junior varsity team next fall.
“We’re glad to have him,” Turner said. “I think he’ll fit in fine and be able to play for us. The great thing about having a junior varsity team is you’re not just sitting and getting practice time. Practice time is good, but game experience is where you’re going to grow. Playing an eight-game JV schedule, he’s getting an opportunity to see the speed of the game.
“The problem for us is trying to find the money (to sign Beck to a scholarship), but the good thing about walking on is if he does well in the classroom and does well on the football field, that money will come.”