DaMarcus “Dee” Beckwith admits he has plenty to learn about playing quarterback. The Florence junior said sometimes he is too quick to run downfield when he might be better off waiting a bit more for a receiver to get open.
“My patience needs to be longer,” he said.
Patience is also the virtue Beckwith is being taught to best handle the complex recruiting process that has quickly blossomed for him.
Beckwith, who chose not to play football in 2017, returned to the team in 2018 to play for first-year coach Will Hester. He is primarily a quarterback for Florence, but he had 120 carries last year and also played receiver.
At 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Beckwith is built better than many of his peers, and that physique combined with his versatility has led to significant interest from colleges.
Beckwith has received scholarship offers from Auburn, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi State, Nebraska, South Alabama, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Troy, UAB and West Virginia.
“We talked about it at length. It’s definitely a process,” Hester said. “He’s not to the point of narrowing it down.”
Beckwith is listed as a four-star prospect by 247 Sports and ESPN and a three-star prospect by Rivals. ESPN lists him as the No. 13 junior in the state, while 247 has him 16th and Rivals 27th.
Beckwith acknowledged he was nervous in his first meetings with college coaches, but Hester advised him to stay calm amid a process the coach said can be “overwhelming” at times. Now, Beckwith says, he enjoys meeting with coaches.
“I didn’t really know what I was up against. I didn’t know how all this stuff worked,” Beckwith said. “I was going to have to get used to it anyway because I knew a lot of visits and a lot of offers were going to come.”
Still, Beckwith said he and his family were surprised how quickly those offers arrived.
He posted on Twitter Jan. 15 that he had an offer from Tennessee, and by the end of January he had added offers from Troy, UAB, Nebraska, South Carolina, Auburn and Southern Miss. He also posted photos of a visit to Alabama.
Michigan, Mississippi State, South Carolina, West Virginia, South Alabama and Kansas offered him in February.
Hester said most coaches are interested in Beckwith as an “athlete” and would decide later what position might be best for him. Two exceptions are South Carolina, which likes him in an H-back/tight end role, and Kansas, which wants him as a tailback.
Beckwith was surprised by the interest in him as a tight end because he has never played that position. He played running back some in youth leagues, but not recently. He said, however, he would be open to different positions if a school seems like the right place.
Asked if any meetings with coaching staffs stood out, Beckwith pointed to two staffs he said went beyond the standard line about a chance to make an impact on the team — Tennessee and South Carolina.
“They actually showed me how they were going to use me and why,” Beckwith said.
Beckwith completed 36 of 62 passes for 480 yards and 3 TDs last year while sharing time at quarterback with Gardner Flippo. Beckwith ran 120 times for 689 yards and 8 TDs, and he caught 11 passes for 138 yards.
Hester said Beckwith will again have multiple roles on the Florence offense and should play defense this year as well.
“He’s going to be all over the field for us,” Hester said.