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Harrison Beck: Still Doesn’t Get It

September 24, 2009
N&O (Note: Beck in photo, throwing off-balance off his back foot)

Luke DeCock took the time to catch up with ex-Pack gunslinger Harrison Beck for an unnecessary article about how he’s doing at Division II North Alabama. Beck, true to form, was not shy about commenting on his time at State, which was DeCock’s goal from the outset, I’m sure. Can you come up with a better reason why this article was penned?

Here are a couple of gems:

“Obviously, it was a difficult couple years at N.C. State,” Beck said. “Whatever happened, happened. I’ve always felt that I’ve been able to play the quarterback position at high level. Now it’s probably a combination of everything, but the truth is I’ve got receivers here who understand who I am as a quarterback. It works out better.

Right. You have receivers that understand you better. Got it.

DeCock takes that and runs with it:

The Division II defensive backs are a half-step slower, giving Beck’s aggressive throws a better chance of find their way to the multiple receivers of North Alabama’s spread offense.

He also may be surrounded by as much, if not more, receiving talent than he was with the Wolfpack, which also doesn’t hurt. Among his targets: Florida State transfer Preston Parker and North Carolina transfer Kenton Thornton. (Former UNC cornerback Richie Rich is at UNA as well.)

Parker and Thornton were both three-star recruits coming out of high school. I’m not going to say Owen Spencer, TJ Graham and Donald Bowens are light years ahead of those two guys, but let’s not pretend cast-offs from FSU and UNC equates to having more talent at receiver than at State.

Beck continues:

“Coach Bowden and I understand each other,” Beck said. “Sometimes he calls plays and says, ‘We want to throw deep on this one so just take the shot, go do it.’ That’s a little different than what I’ve ever had. It was always, ‘Don’t lose the game,’ ‘Don’t throw that,’ ‘Check it down to the fullback, throw it short, take that stuff.

“Coach Bowden stresses touchdowns before checkdowns, not checkdowns then touchdowns. He lets me be who I am. He understands who I am as a quarterback.”

Heaven forbid the coaching staff would encourage you to NOT LOSE THE GAME WITH A BONEHEAD PLAY.

I think this last comment pretty much sums it all up:

“I tell ’em all the time here,” Beck said, “I wish I could have come to dang North Alabama right out of high school.”

No disrespect to North Alabama, but that’s not a “destination school” for high school football talent. I’m glad Beck has found a place where he can be himself as a quarterback, but it’s telling that it’s at the Division II level where he can “sling” it all over the field with minor repercussions. His unwillingness to be coached to protect the ball by the staff at Nebraska and then at State is the reason why he is where he is…on the Island Of Misfit Toys where Terry Bowden is collecting all the other cast-off talent that couldn’t hack it in the FBS division (26 Division I-A transfers now play for UNA).

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