UND FOOTBALL: Lakota senior anxious to prove he belongs at UND
Dylan Beck’s name wasn’t on the list when the North Dakota Class A high school all-state football team was announced last November. The Lakota High School senior had no problem accepting that.
“I wasn’t too broken up about it,” Beck said. “I felt I had performed OK. I was happy with my season. I guess somebody just felt somebody else had played better than I did.”
If high school coaches statewide who select the all-state team didn’t recognize Beck as one of the state’s best players, the UND football coaching staff did. Beck has made a verbal commitment to play at UND.
Beck won’t be going to the UND football program on scholarship. Instead, the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder will be a preferred walk-on. That doesn’t matter to him, Beck said. He’d already planned to attend UND, whether football was an option or not.
That the football program was interested in him without all-state designation was no surprise to Beck. The surprise came after his junior season, when Beck was invited to come see the UND football program at a so-called junior day.
“I was surprised that they were even considering me then,” said Beck, who is projected to play offensive guard. “I wasn’t even considering playing college football at that point. But then more colleges talked to me after that.”
Beck still planned on attending UND. But he wasn’t sure what his status would be when UND’s coaching staff was reshuffled after the 2013 season.
“I was a little worried my name might be lost in the shuffle,” Beck said. “Evidently, it wasn’t.”
It isn’t unheard of for a senior who doesn’t gain all-state recognition to be found by football coaches.
Just a year ago, then-senior Bryce Messner of Dakota Prairie — which entered into a co-op with Lakota-Edmore last season — was recruited by North Dakota State. He redshirted last fall and is still a member of the team.
Long-time Lakota football coach and school administrator Joe Harder said he can’t remember the last time a Lakota athlete was recruited by a Division I athletic program. But he can see the potential Beck has.
“Dylan’s got the physical size (recruiters) look for,” Harder said. “He’s big and strong and he’s fairly athletic. And he’s a smart kid; that will help him. I think he has the potential to play there.”
Beck has adjusted. He was an all-region pick in 9-man football as a junior. When Lakota-Edmore co-oped with Dakota Prairie last season, Beck again stood out and gained all-region honors.
And, as far as being snubbed in the all-state process, “it’s a little incentive,” Beck said. “I want to show that I’m better than some of the kids who did make all-state. At least for awhile, it will give me a little extra drive.
“I didn’t expect any (scholarship money). I’m just ecstatic that they want me to be a part of the program at UND.”