TAMPA, Fla. -- Coming off his final unofficial visit to Stanford, all signs seemed to be indicating Andrew Beck (Tampa, Fla./Plant) was headed to California. Until they pointed to Austin, Texas, instead.
Dressed in a suit, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound inside linebacker stood and thanked those in attendance, and some that weren't. But when it was time to pull the hat out of the bag, it was burnt orange, not red.
"Everybody told me, 'When you get to the right place, you just feel it in your stomach,'" Beck said of his visit to Texas. "That's really what I felt at Texas. Not just the players and the coaches, but everybody that is associated with Texas football.
"Everybody at Texas was real with me. They were not going to lie and say that you aren't going to play your freshman year, but they aren't going to say that you are."
Manny Diaz, Beck's future position coach, plans to use him in the middle. And that was truly important to him. Beck's comfortable there, and quite successful, too, as evidenced by his offer list.
"They want me as a middle linebacker," Beck said. "That's what I wanted to play, that was my preference. Playing middle linebacker at Texas is just icing on the cake. They did say that one the goal line, they might use me as an H-Back, but that is nothing different from what they do now there already."
Beck and Diaz had a great relationship through the process. That's something that usually bodes well for a school given the pair will have to work together for the foreseeable future.
Though Beck doesn't consider it a deal breaker if Diaz was to move on for some reason down the road.
"He is a great guy," said Beck. "That was a big part of my decision. But if he's not there when I get there, or if he is not there the entire time, that's fine. But the energy that he brings to everything is great. When we visited for practice, he ran out there with his cleats on. That was awesome. He is a good guy. I am happy with our relationship and I am ready to make it a little more coaching level. That's something I am looking forward to."
Regardless of how close the decision for Texas ultimately was, Beck was coy on who the next closest team was.
Instead, he deferred to a photo of him with head coach Mack Brown in full Texas gear that dated back to his fourth-grade days.
Beck's family, a military one, is used to traveling all over, and the Lone Star State was one of the stops. So in many ways, while Texas is far, and they don't typically recruit Florida prospects in large volumes, this new linebacker commitment will enter with a unique sense of familiarity.
As the 14th member of the Texas recruiting class for 2014, Beck is the third linebacker of the group to choose the Longhorns.