Beck Leads Scouts' Charge Into Football Season Opener
The fiery quarterback has one thing he didn't have going into last season: the starting job. He plans to keep it.
It looked like just another innocuous pass play from yet another preseason practice. Lake Forest running back Luke Bernardi runs a hitch route, catches the ball and runs in for a touchdown.
But sprinting behind him was the guy who threw him the ball, quarterback Jordan Beck. Leaping into the air for a backwards high five with Bernardi, it was a show of emotion Scouts fans can expect to see quite a bit this season.
"Energy is contagious," said the red-haired Beck after practice Wednesday. "When you are having fun out there and going crazy, that’s going to have a ripple effect on the whole team and they’re going to get jacked up."
Beck has reason to be jacked up as he knows what he didn't know last year: he is the unquestioned starter. Sharing time in 2010 with P.J. Carollo, the 5-foot-11 175-pound senior is more confident going into this season.
A natural runner, Beck slashes through holes with purpose and intensity, matching his personality. A full offseason of workouts with receivers Bernardi, Cam Douglass and Bo Dever has hatched chemistry. Arm strength is still a question, as Beck's delivery could be a target for defensive backs and linebackers sitting on deeper routes.
And like all the receivers, with the exception of Dever, Friday night at Buffalo Grove will be a milestone for Beck: his first-ever start. Carollo started all 11 games last year.
Don't expect the bright lights to faze him or the new Scouts. They have big ideas for how they want their spread attack to be known.
"I want us to be known as a powerhouse, putting big numbers on the board," said Beck. "Consistency, intensity and putting up huge numbers."
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Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli confirmed Wednesday that junior quarterback Andrew Clifford will see action Friday night at Buffalo Grove.
"He'll get some plays," said Spagnoli. "Some of that may be determined by how the game is."
Players won't know until game day when Clifford will play. As a general rule, Spagnoli and his coaches will go over substitutions and personnel changes before kickoff each week.
"The reason is we don't want it to be a surprise to anybody on our team," said Spagnoli. "We don't care what people on the outside think. We let our kids know in the meeting so-and-so is going in at this series so there is no surprise."
Buffalo Grove is a blitzing team, so expect to see quick throws from the Scouts quarterbacks. Clifford is taller — 6-3 vs. Beck's 5-11 — and is a traditional pocket passer. When he is in the game, his job will be to get the ball to the playmakers: running back Owen Williams and Dever.
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Coming off the practice field Wednesday, Beck and a few other players were sporting new haircuts: Mohawks. The idea was hatched last Friday at Williams' house. Brats, poker and head shaving. Who hasn't enjoyed an evening out with that combination of activities?
Beck said he and seniors Dever, Morgan Layton and John Marwede — the designated team "cutter" — had an ulterior motive by sporting the new 'dos.
"We wanted to send a message in school Monday who the Scouts were," said the shaved Beck.
Expect more hair to fall before Friday.