We’re breaking down who we think will be Texas’ starting lineup, a combined effort from Mike Craven, Brian Davis and Danny Davis. We’re doing two a day, one offensive and one defensive player.
Senior tight end, 6-4/255
High school: Tampa (Fla.) Plant
Signing class: 2014
Career games: 37
Career starts: 16
Career numbers: 14 catches, 159 yards, 2 TDs; 2 tackles
1. He has only two career TDs, but one of them — a pass over the middle that he converted into a 39-yard score — counts as his career longest catch, touchdown catch and single-game receiving yards.
2. After Oklahoma State, you have to go back to the last game of the 2015 season when Beck had two catches in Waco. That’s his single-game high.
3. Beck also can list kick returner on his résumé besides tight end and linebacker. He returned a kick 8 yards against Cal in 2015.
WHO HE WAS — BEFORE TEXAS
Beck is a tight end now but left high school as a three-star middle linebacker. He signed with Charlie Strong in Strong’s first Texas class of 2014 but committed to Mack Brown; in fact, he may have been Brown’s final recruit — the same week that Brown was fired, he was in Tampa visiting Beck.
Beck left high school listed as a 6-3, 227-pound linebacker. He’s now a 6-4, 255-pound tight end. He played four years of varsity football at Plant, starting his final two years.
He was ranked as the nation’s No. 24 middle linebacker and the No. 76-ranked prospect in Florida for the 2014 cycle, per 247Sports’ composite. He was in on the same UT class that included Jerrod Heard, Poona Ford and the Foreman brothers. It ranked 17th nationally. The Longhorns did sign a tight end that year — junior college signee Blake Whiteley, who’s no longer in the program.
In his last two years at Plant, Beck recorded 236 tackles and 13 sacks. As a junior 35 of his 126 stops were tackles for loss. He was a first-team all-state selection and won a state championship in 2011. He picked Texas over Stanford.
WHO BECK HAS BEEN HERE — SO FAR
Beck was moved to linebacker before the 2014 season and found a home. Entering the 2017 season, he’s a four-year contributor who started 16 of the 37 games he’s played in. He played in all 13 games of 2014 but failed to record a reception; he was used mostly as a blocker and on special teams.Beck started 10 of the 12 games as a sophomore in 2015. The Longhorns didn’t focus on using the tight end much in the passing game. Beck ended the year with eight catches for 77 yards.
Not much changed as a junior. Beck was a reliable blocker who offers physicality he inherited from his time playing linebacker in high school. It hasn’t translated into the passing game, though. Beck started just three of 12 games in 2016. He finished the season with four catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
WHO TEXAS NEEDS HIM TO BE THIS SEASON
An all-around leader. At Houston, coach Tom Herman converted athletic linebacker Tyler McCloskey into a tight end who caught 37 passes for 390 yards and five touchdowns. This offense, Herman has said numerous times, needs a solid tight end.
Beck can be exactly that. He proved a tenacious blocker in Tyrone Swoopes’ 18-Wheeler package last season and someone who can make catches in traffic, as evidenced by his 39-yard touchdown against Oklahoma State. He simply hasn’t gotten many chances under previous offensive coordinators.
But Beck has to show freshmen Cade Brewer and Reese Leitao how to carry themselves as Longhorns. Graduate transfer Kendall Moore is here to finish out his career; Beck is a dyed-in-the-wool Horn. He may not have gaudy statistics, but Beck has the skins on the wall that deserves respect.
The Texas 22 — so far:
Offense: TE Andrew Beck
Defense: CB Kris Boyd
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