With November as his deadline to commit, Brandon Beachum, the 6-foot, 214 pound linebacker from Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, has tentatively narrowed his list down to a top 10 (almost) from among 25 offers.
“LSU, Florida State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Boston College, Wisconsin, Louisville, Stanford and North Carolina State are my top ten,” said the Scout.com four-star prospect. “And maybe Michigan State too. I’m still thinking about them and a couple of others.”
With his latest offer coming last week from the Wolfpack, Beachum said he was ready to start trimming his list. “I’m graduating early, in January, so I want to commit by November at the latest. So I needed to start making some decisions.
“I’m looking at these schools because they have all the aspects of what I want in a college—academics, programs, tradition and environment,” he added. “Most important is the level of education each of these schools offer. That’s my top priority.
“North Carolina State is my 25th offer. I got the offer at school last week. Coach (Tom) O’Brien came to my school and I got to meet with him. He offered me right then. I was sort of surprised. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I already got the offer letter in the mail.”
Ranked No. 20 in the Midwest by Scout.com, Beachum said that although he hasn’t decided on where he will take his official visits, he’s hoping to make Stanford one of the five.
“I’m really interested in Stanford,” said Beachum, who reports a 3.3 core GPA and a 19 ACT. “Their quality of academics is the best in the country. Coach (D.J.) Durkin (defensive ends/special teams) talks a lot. He gives me advice on what I need to do to make sure I get accepted academically. He says as far as GPA goes, I’m good, but I need to have more advanced classes on my transcript.
“I just changed my entire schedule around for next year to make sure I have all the required classes,” he added. “I’m also planning to retake my ACT in June.”
Beachum admits that if he meets Stanford’s academic requirements, they would definitely be a serious contender. “I can’t give them an exact place right now, but if I did qualify for admission, they would move up really high on my list for sure.”
Thinking of majoring in business, the stand-out defender says that environment will play a bigger role than depth in making his decision. “I think you can find top programs and great coaches wherever you go, but this is somewhere that I’m going to have to live for four years. I want to make sure I like where I’m at.
“Depth is not really an issue for me,” he added. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, it would be great to see some play time as a freshman. But anywhere I go, I’m going to have to earn my position no matter if there’s one guy or ten guys ahead of me. In the end, it’s all the same.”
One offer Beachum is still yet to receive is from Michigan. “I don’t know why they haven’t offered,” he said. “I know they’re interested. I talk to them a lot and they tell me how much they like me and want me to come to their camp coming up this summer.
“I like Michigan because they are a big program that is close to me. I have offers from big-time schools that are eight, ten hours away, but Michigan is just three hours from me. I don’t think I’m going to their camp though. I'm pretty much done with that. I think I’ve done enough.
“My dad is really helping me in narrow things down,” Beachum said. “Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, I’ll have a better idea of my favorites and know where I want to take my officials (visits). I’m really not sure if I’ll stay close or not. We haven’t even thought of any of that yet.”