The family of LSU sophomore linebacker Kendell Beckwith is in Nashville for the Music City Bowl ready to help cheer the Tigers on to victory over Notre Dame.
Beckwith made lots of plays for an LSU defense that started out the season poorly and improved a great deal down the stretch. He has 68 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. His 68 tackles were good enough for second on the team behind fellow linebacker Kwon Alexander, who has 71.
What's it been like to watch him make plays?
"Love it, lovely, lovely," said Wendell Beckwith, his father. "Everything I taught him. Everything I taught him (laughs)."
Where'd he get his size from, because you're not a small guy, but he's a lot bigger than you?
"I tell them all I'm 6' and he's just two inches taller than me (laughs)," the proud dad responded.
Beckwith was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week due to his performance against Ole Miss. He led the Tigers with a career-high 11 tackles to limit the Rebels to a season-low 313 yards and just seven points. LSU won the game 10-7.
I know moms get nervous when they watch their boys play. What's it been like for you?
"You just really pray a lot," said Urhonda Beckwith, his mother. "You just really pray a lot and hope for the best."
He joked about getting knocked out against Kentucky.
Were you in the stands?
"Yes, I was," she replied.
And, did your heart drop?
"Yes, it did (laughs)," she added.
Beckwith had an interception against New Mexico State, which he returned 29 yards for a touchdown. It was the team's only pick-six of the season. Since he took over as the starting middle linebacker in the seventh game of the season against Florida, LSU's defense has allowed only 273.8 yards per game (102.7 rushing, 171.2 passing) and 15.2 points a contest.
Are they excited to be here? Are they excited to be in this bowl game?
"The little bit we have talked with him, he said he almost missed curfew the other night, so I told him, 'You better get on the ball once you get on that field.' But, yes, they are very excited. They are very excited," Wendell Beckwith explained.
Another funny thing about Kendell Beckwith is he's a great football player, but he doesn't like to watch football. He'd rather be on a horse out in the country than watching a game on television.
"All day long. That's just passion - those horses. He's killing me now with them. I'm worried with them now, so I'll be glad when he gets back home to take care of them," his father said.
"Loves the outdoors. Always has," his mother added.
Whenever he hangs it up, he's not going to be watching TV or being an analyst or any of that?
"No, sir. No, sir. He'll be very active outside," Urhonda Beckwith said.
"Very active. In the woods hunting," Wendell Beckwith added.
The Beckwiths are excited to watch their son take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.
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