It's pretty refreshing to see someone who has Cal as their dream school. It was mine, admittedly for a whole host of different reasons, but Traveon Beck wanted to come to Cal. His reaction below should tell the whole story.
Beck comes to us from St. John Bosco in Bellflower, joining former Bosco stalwart Bryce Treggs. Though the Bears took seven defensive backs in the class of 2015, a couple of the main members of the defensive backfield will be leaving after the fall. Stefan McClure and Darius White will move on, and guys like Beck will be brought in to replace them and hopefully outdo their production.
- First play in, we can see the closing speed that Beck has to offer. He plays his zone, keeps his eyes on the ball, and comes up to make a big hit. What I like most is that he doesn't get turned around, which seems to be a bad habit our current corners need to stop. Everything about this play is fundamentally sound and smooth, straight out of a textbook.
- At :16, he's being blocked, but keeps his eyes up so he can shed the block and pick up the fumble. From first impressions, Beck has some great awareness of what's going on during the play, and he reacts very quickly to it. And this dude is fast. He has a 4.54 40 time right now, but he'll get even faster at Cal.
- At :32, he essentially runs the width of the field to chase down a scrambling quarterback after coming on a blitz. I'm really impressed by this guy's film and I'm only 30 seconds in. This guy has the heart to match his talent, so it seems.
- He's got some great read and react skills, and he does a good job of positioning himself in preparation for the pass. If there's an issue that this guy may have, it's that he tends to read the QB's eyes a bit, which is something Coach Burns will have to work with him on at this level.
- Beck is definitely a competitor, making plays by covering a lot of ground after a catch at 1:02 in. It's a bit of an intangible quality shared by guys like Mike Mohamed, Matt Giordano, Mychal Kendricks, and Craig Stevens. It's a willingness to attempt to make a play no matter where you are on the field. It's an unselfish trait, and Beck has it in spades. He also understands pursuit angles very well.
- From a fundamental standpoint, Beck is an excellent corner. He backpedals low, breaks off of that quickly, and gets to passes that way while keeping his eyes on the ball and the receiver. He has a good breakdown before making tackles, just like they teach at every level. His block shedding is also solid, considering that he's not a big corner at 5'10" 170 lbs. He uses leverage well to get around blocks. I did notice that he went inside on some blocks, even though corners usually try to have contain responsibilities, so that may be a small issue.
- He blocks a field goal in one part of the film, which is just pure burst off the edge. Anecdote time here, during 2011 or 2012 football practices under Tedford, they'd run live field goal drills. At least once a practice, Joel Willis would block one coming off the edge. I think Beck could do the same, as they have some similar burst.
- Slip screens don't work on Beck, who snuffs out a couple of them early with fundamental tackling. We're going to face a lot of teams who throw those screens, so it'll be nice to see them stopped with no yards after the catch. Bubble screens meet the same fate as well.
- When playing on a bigger wideout, Beck stays in the guy's pocket in order to sneak in and make a deflection. Fundamental stuff there.
- In summation, I think Beck is wildly underrated. I could see him being the next Daymeion Hughes, with better speed. This guy is going places, and he wants to be at Cal. I'm sold.
As a last thought, with the basketball team using the "Why Not Cal?" mantra, football recruiting is beginning to turn on that same path. Why not us? Traveon Beck is a hell of a player, and Cal is where he wants to play. Who knows where that will take the Bears.