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Countryside's Beck takes aim at Bulls

N.C. State’s Harrison Beck, a former Countryside quarterback, has a great deal of respect for USF’s defense.

Associated Press

N.C. State’s Harrison Beck, a former Countryside quarterback, has a great deal of respect for USF’s defense.

Tebow a linebacker? Are you kidding?

As a high school junior in Stephenville, Texas, Jevan Snead thought for sure he would one day be playing quarterback at Florida Field on Saturdays.

He will be inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium today, but he will be wearing a Mississippi jersey and playing for Florida's opponent. And most likely, he won't get an especially warm welcome.

Snead was once a hot UF prospect whom Urban Meyer and his staff began recruiting while at Utah. He orally committed to the Gators as an 11th-grader. But when he learned that Meyer was actively pursuing Jacksonville-area quarterback Tim Tebow, everything changed.

In a book titled Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting, Snead said Meyer promised he would not recruit another quarterback after he committed. When Snead inquired about the Gators' recruitment of Tebow, he said in the book Meyer told him that Tebow was being recruited as a linebacker.

This week, Meyer emphatically denied the allegations. And Snead now says he can't remember if Florida ever told him that.

"I really do not remember about that at all, at this time," Snead said.

But what he does remember is the difficult recruiting process.

"I guess it was a little frustrating," Snead said. "I decided it wouldn't be the best situation for me, so I decided to withdraw my commitment. Fortunately, it's worked out for both schools and myself."

The road to Oxford has been tough. Snead began his career at Texas, but eventually transferred to Ole Miss, where he sat out last season.

In four games, Snead is 55-of-102 for 844 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

Information from the Associated Press and the Kansas City Star was used in this report.

A look at this week's college football scene. For more, check out sports.tampabay.com.

Former Countryside quarterback Harrison Beck, thrust back into a starting role at N.C. State after an injury to Russell Wilson, didn't have to look at video to know about the USF defense he will go up against tonight in Raleigh. The former Countryside standout said he has watched several Bulls games in the past two years, and he recognizes how turnovers have helped USF in wins against Auburn and West Virginia last season, and Kansas two weeks ago. "They play pretty good defense, but the turnovers are usually backbreakers," said Beck, a transfer from Nebraska who started four games last season before sustaining a shoulder injury. "Against Kansas, they sealed the deal at the end with a pick off the post route, and last year against West Virginia, their linebacker picked Pat White and returned it for a touchdown." Avoiding turnovers will be a key for Beck, whose career numbers against BCS foes are zero touchdowns and nine interceptions. N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien said of Beck, "We're just going to have to tell him that we're wearing the red jerseys on Saturday night, and we'll be in good shape." Beck said USF recruited him out of Countryside, where he was rated as the nation's No. 3 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com in 2005, but he didn't seriously consider the Bulls because he knew he wanted to play out of state and was courted by major programs such as Michigan and Nebraska. "I lived in Florida my whole life, so if I had a chance to have my college degree paid for, I wanted to go away," Beck said. "USF wasn't the USF they are now. They weren't ranked, hadn't beaten the kinds of teams they've been beating. You could see them starting to turn things around then, but I just didn't want to stay in Florida."

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

Quotable

"I push 1, I get the offense. I push 2, I get the defense."

Joe Paterno, Penn State coach, on coaching through the press box phone

By the numbers

2 Times in the past 24 years Vanderbilt has started 4-0. The Commodores are outscoring opponents 51-10 in the second half this season.

2 Home games coach Bob Stoops, in his 10th season at Oklahoma, has lost in his career there, the most recent in 2005 to Texas Christian, the Sooners' opponent today

2 Consecutive shutouts posted by Brigham Young, the first time it has done so since 1985

What? No Gatorade?

Michael Johnson is a pass-rushing force who has a long history of big plays and an equally long history of cramping in games.

Finally, an unexpected remedy for the Georgia Tech defensive end came this month from former teammate and Dallas rookie Tashard Choice.

The running back passed along a recommendation from Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith: Try Pedialyte, the drink designed to combat dehydration in children.

"I trust Tashard, so I listen to people when they give me advice, especially someone like that," Johnson said Tuesday. "And he got it from Emmitt. You can't question his credibility. It's like top-notch."

Johnson said he had two bottles of the drink before a game at Boston College and one bottle on Thursdays each of the past two weeks.

He says he has had no cramps since the opener.

He blocked a field goal, deflected two passes, recovered a fumble and had a fourth-down sack in last week's 38-7 win over Mississippi State.

"I'm just thankful for Tashard to hit me with that information," Johnson said.

Jevan Snead

Countryside's Beck takes aim at Bulls 09/26/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008 8:31pm]

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