Local Football Player Becoming Elite Prospect

Jaylan Beckley
Jaylan Beckley | Image by Texas A&M Football Recruiting

Texas high school football features many prized college recruits who draw the attention of fans and elite programs, yet others also put in the hard work to get to the next level and still fly under the radar.

That is exactly what is happening with Addison Trinity Christian Academy (TCA) junior offensive lineman Jaylan Beckley, who has earned FBS offers after just one full season of football.

“His improvement from the beginning of last season to the beginning of this season is the most I’ve ever seen in any kid,” TCA head coach Steve Hayes told The Dallas Express. “He kind of looks like an NFL lineman. He’s a freak. He runs like a deer, but he weighs 300 pounds. Now, he’s starting to put it all together, and he’s worked so hard to learn how to do the intricate details of right tackle, and man, it’s amazing to see.”

Strictly a basketball player until high school, Beckley made his gridiron debut last season after joining the team late in his freshman year and enters his junior year as the Trojans’ starting right tackle.

“I started off playing basketball in about fifth grade at the YMCA and pretty much ever since then. I wasn’t thinking about football,” Beckley told The Dallas Express. “My mom wasn’t for playing football because she just heard about so many head injuries, concussions, and stuff like that. … It really wasn’t a thing I was interested in because I loved basketball.”

His hard work on the basketball court ultimately led him to join the football team after some encouragement and convincing from coaches and teammates.

“I remember doing some footwork drills and things like that, and whenever we started, the football team was coming out off the field, and they had to walk through the gym to get to their locker room,” Beckley recounted to The Dallas Express. “They were seeing me work my feet and were like, ‘Man, you gotta play football. I don’t even care if it’s here. I’m telling you, it can take you really far if you let it and if you put the work in for it.’ That really resonated with me.”

Beckley took to the football field for the first time and started the first varsity game of the season at right tackle as a sophomore.

“If I had to put the whole season into a couple words or a sentence, it was like drinking water from a fire hose,” he admitted. “For my first snaps of football to be up against varsity guys, I never really got the chance to ease into it. It was pretty much like trial by fire right from the rip. It was a lot, but I appreciate it in hindsight because it made me feel a lot more ready for it now, so I think it was for the best.”

While challenging, Beckley credits his basketball background for preparing him for the transition to the football field.

“I think they kind of go hand in hand,” he said. “I realized that me playing offensive line in football is similar to a lot of movements when I’m playing defense in basketball. I’m trying to stay in front of a man. I’m trying to stay between two things. That was one thing that made it a lot easier for my transition going into football.”

His talent on the field has gotten him discovered, but Hayes says it’s the person Beckley is off the field that makes him stand out.

“He’s one of the finest people you could ever be around,” the head coach told The Dallas Express. “He really is an incredible person. He has great parents, and I think that is reflected in kind of the way he values people.”

Since the season ended, Beckley has been hard at work, trying to gain strength and improve his technique while attending camps across the country, picking up offers from Clemson, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and many others.

“He’s figuring out on the field how to be aggressive and likes it, so he’s kind of learning that dichotomy between being an aggressive, physical, ‘I can knock somebody on their rear end on the field, help them up, and still be okay,'” Hayes added. “You could see this spring when that lightbulb kind of went off, and it’s going to be fun to watch. I’m excited for him. It’s a blessing for his family.”

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