Bend it like Beckum

By on September 17, 2020

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoImagine being set on a major and feeling ready to continue in college on your chosen path, and then suddenly being ordered to switch to a different study you know nothing about … and excelling at it.Badgers tight end Travis Beckum was instructed to do just that on the football field. After the conclusion of the 2005 football season, Beckum, a defensive end last season, was asked to switch over to the other side of the ball and become a tight end. Beckum took on this challenge with a smile.”I’ve enjoyed it a lot,” Beckum said. “I just look forward to how I’m going to do in the future.”Beckum admits that the switch wasn’t exactly the easiest, but he took control and made the best of it during the off-season.”No, it wasn’t easy, it’s a lot of hard work, especially the transition from defense to offense,” Beckum said. “But it took a little extra something for me to make that step — in the long run it just takes hard work.”Tight ends coach Bob Bostad is impressed with the progress Beckum has made in such a short time.”He didn’t play tight end in high school or anything, so he hadn’t had much of a background,” said the first-time Badgers coach of Beckum. “It’s extremely difficult and we’re just fortunate he got spring [ball] underneath his belt, and have a little bit of retention, and to be able to come out and improve upon that.”Bostad is more impressed with how Beckum has taken control of his own progression from defense to offense.”I’m really happy with his work ethic, his determination, and his commitment to the program and to himself,” Bostad said. “Essentially, he’s been doing all the right things, and he’s taking all the right steps.”Bostad believes that Beckum has the ability to be a contributor, as well as a playmaker in tough situations.”I think he’s given the offense a little bit of a spark at times, although I think that he has shown that he needs to give it more,” Bostad said. “I think that he has that potential, he has a lot of upside to him.”Teammates Paul Hubbard and Kraig Urbik have taken notice at how well Beckum has made the adjustment, and how great of an addition Beckum has been to the offensive side of the ball.Hubbard, Wisconsin’s leading wide receiver through three games, went so far as to draw comparisons to the Badgers’ last tight end, Owen Daniels, one of UW’s biggest weapons on offense in 2005.”Travis Beckum’s contributions to the passing game have been pretty good,” said Hubbard of his teammate. “It’s good to have another tight end like Owen Daniels out there, somebody that the defense has to worry about — another threat — so we can spread out the field so we have threats at the wide receiver, running back and tight end positions.””I think he’s done very good, being a tight end, he’s very fast and has really great hands,” Urbik, a UW guard, said. “When we throw the ball to him, we know he will pretty much catch anything so he’s been a pretty big impact for us.”Even though Beckum had to go though such a difficult transition, he finds that he is a more confident player from last season to the current.”My confidence has increased a lot,” Beckum said. “I feel very confident right now, I mean last year I was kind of iffy, but I got it now.”Overall, the second-year standout is satisfied with the switch he had to go through, and also how well the team has been doing.”I like the way we look right now, but we have a lot of work to do. I have a lot of work to do. We just have to come out and play hard. I think if that happens, we will be successful,” Beckum related.Beckum is optimistic about this week’s Big Ten opener against No. 6 Michigan; and he is showing off his new positional skills on the biggest stage in college football: the Big House.”We know what we’re capable of doing, they know what they’re capable of doing, we just need to work hard and be physical, and I think the outcome will work out in our favor,” Beckum said. “To play one of top teams in the nation and also to play at one of the biggest stadiums in the nation, it should be fun.”last_img read more

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