Blacksburg star running back Coleton Beck has received plenty of publicity in the last few days. Virginia Tech offered Beck on Saturday, and the Hokies immediately became a player in his recruitment.
Now that he’s been offered, let’s give him the profile treatment, shall we? First, the basics.
Cole Beck is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound running back who plays high school football literally minutes from Virginia Tech’s football offices, so you know the Hokies have done a full evaluation. Beck is rated as a 3-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports, and is rated the 15th-best player in Virginia by both 247Sports and TSL. Beck ran for 2,227 yards and scored 40 total touchdowns in 2016, leading Blacksburg to a 3A state championship.
A lot of schools have come calling for Beck’s services at the collegiate level, but only a few Power 5 schools have offered – Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Mississippi State and Boston College.
The first thing everyone brings up when talking about Beck’s skill set is his speed, and rightfully so. If he committed, he’d immediately be the fastest player on the roster. Beck ran a 4.29-second 40-yard-dash at a camp in Blacksburg in June, and won three state track titles in 2017. When it comes to speed, Coleton Beck is the guy.
Beck has other skills at his disposal too. He’s got great size for a running back, and runs with power and strength. Beck has no problem taking on smaller or comparable defenders and running them over. He runs with great balance, and is able to regain his momentum after breaking tackles. Beck also shows good patience and vision and when he hits the hole, he’s off to the races.
In terms of weaknesses, Beck’s hands are are a question. Beck did have nearly 600 receiving yards in his junior season, so it’s clear he can be a receiving threat. However, at Virginia Tech’s camp in June, he seemed to struggle a bit. In the Hokies’ offensive scheme, being able to catch out of the backfield is an important skill to have, and Beck will need to be versatile. Beck also plays at the 3A level, which is in the lower-half of classifications for football in Virginia.
In all, Beck is an intriguing prospect. His combination of speed and strength is hard to find, but as with every recruit, there are questions. If Beck can become a reliable receiver out of the backfield and become a decent pass blocker, he can be a great fit in Virginia Tech’s offensive system.
Virginia Tech did jump on board rather late in the process, but the Hokies still figure to have a great chance at landing a commitment from Beck. He released a top-5 of East Carolina, Louisville, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Virginia on July 3, but Virginia Tech is firmly in Beck’s top group now. Beck can visit Virginia Tech whenever he wants, and that kind of proximity should help the Hokies in Beck’s recruitment.
Beck is likely the top running back left on the board for Virginia Tech. With Caleb Steward already committed, the Hokies will push hard for Beck’s commitment in order to fill the final spot. If Beck heads elsewhere, Virginia Tech will have to try and move on guys like Ronnie Walker or Marcus Caldwell.