Senior Odell Beckham signed with Louisiana State University in a ceremony in the School’s Reynolds Ryan Art Gallery on February 2, 2011. His proud parents, coaches, teachers and fellow students looked on as he put pen to paper, cementing his commitment to LSU in the fall. Beckham will join fellow Greenie and Newman alumnus Ronnie Vinson ’10 as they both don the Tigers’ purple and gold.
Beckham’s recruitment has been nearly a two-year campaign. The calls started coming in to Newman’s football staff at the end of Beckham’s junior season. He had over 20 offers from 20 different colleges. It soon became clear that his top choices were LSU and Miami. Miami offered him a spot on their team when he participated in their summer camp and was named the MVP of that camp. Beckham delayed making his decision in order to focus on his last football season here at Newman.
He announced his commitment earlier in January, when he played in the U.S. Army All-American Game. Wearing an LSU hat at the end of the third quarter, he grinned and flashed an “L” hand signal as he posed for a photograph.
In his time at Newman, Beckham has had numerous accomplishments. He was a three-year starter, and twice was awarded the titles of All-District, All-Metro and All-State. In 2010, he was also named District Offensive MVP, AA State Offensive MVP, as well as being selected Offensive MVP and Team MVP by Newman’s football team.
Beckham’s performance also piqued the interest of the local and national media. The Times-Picayune awarded him the Metro Player of the Week, as well as adding him to the Times-Picayune Blue Chip List. Rivals.com ranked him as the #6 wide receiver and the 43rd best overall player nationally. He also played in the All-American Bowl in January 2011 at the invitation of the U.S. Army.
Football Coach Nelson Stewart conveyed his pride at Beckham’s accomplishments, saying, “Obviously, all of us are proud of him. I think he had an exceptional season.” Stewart also applauded Beckham for choosing his school carefully, adding, “He took his time making his decision narrowing it down to Miami and LSU. There’s no question it’s the right place for him to be, both academically and athletically. I know that he and his family are very happy; he has a very bright future, and I think he is going to be an exceptional player.
Billy Fitzgerald, Newman’s athletic director, had similar praise for Beckham. “Odell signing with LSU is a fantastic event for him and for Newman. Odell is a tremendous athlete and we are very proud of him and all of his accomplishments. We have every confidence that he will do very, very well at LSU, in one of the premier programs in the nation,” he said.
Odell’s success on the field also spills over into the classroom. Odell will join a long list of student-athletes from Newman to carry the lessons learned in these halls to college fields and classrooms.