Andrew Beck has moved 11 times in his life.
Beck’s father is a colonel in the Army, so Beck has lived in Fort Knox, Ky., Colorado Springs and Germany. Texas’ senior tight end fell in love with the Longhorns when his family was stationed at nearby Fort Hood. He signed with Texas in 2014 while attending a high school in Tampa, Fla.
He was asked Tuesday where he’s from. “The Northern Hemisphere,” Beck responded.
Beck was recruited by Mack Brown, was signed by Charlie Strong and is having the best season of his UT career with Tom Herman. He arrived as a 230-pound linebacker but switched positions his freshman season; he was primarily used over the next three years as a run-blocking tight end.
From 2014-16, Beck started 15 times with 12 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns. He missed the 2017 season with a foot injury but opted to return for his senior season. This season he has 18 catches for 183 yards and had a 10-yard touchdown catch last week against Oklahoma State. Now 6-3 and 255 pounds, Beck has a reception in every game this season.
He partially credits his on-field development to working with Derek Warehime, UT’s tight ends coach who led the offensive linemen last year. Beck also has developed a rapport with sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who is also his roommate.
“I’ve done an all right job in the run game so far, which is what I pride myself on,” Beck said. “Because of that, the coaches have found a way to open it up in the passing game a little bit. Just keep doing my job, man. That’s all I want to do.”
Last August, before the 2017 season started, Beck fractured his left foot during practice. But he still served as one of the team’s captains throughout the season. This summer, his teammates voted him to serve as a captain again.
Beck, quick-witted yet fiery, has displayed a no-nonsense approach to leading the Longhorns. Last month he confronted two Kansas State players that were encroaching into UT’s warmup space before the 19-14 win in Manhattan. Last Saturday he publicly called out Breckyn Hager, his roommate and friend, after the defensive end committed an unnecessary personal foul at the end of the Oklahoma State game.
Tampa Plant coach Robert Weiner, whose football program has produced more than 200 college athletes over the last 14 years, said it’s unusual to have a two-year captain there but Beck was able to because his leadership abilities were organic and “he doesn’t have to be a good leader, he can just do that by being himself.” Beck is “very militaristic in his approach,” said UT center Zach Shackelford. “He’s one of those guys that people will listen to in the locker room,” wide receiver Collin Johnson said.
“He speaks the truth at all times,” said defensive tackle Chris Nelson, a fellow captain. “He just tells you what we’re doing wrong and he lifts you up when we’re doing right. He just motivates guys in the right direction to go in.”
Beck isn’t sure what his future holds. He already has a degree in corporate communication. The statisic-barren path from Texas to the Dallas Cowboys has given Beck a possible map to follow to the NFL. He recently joked with reporters that he may try out journalism, but only if he gets to pepper the local media with questions of his own.
Beck has even thought about joining the military. Shackelford, whose father is also in the Army, endorsed that idea.
“Whatever he does, he’s going to be great at it,” he said.