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From a Boy to a Man: The Dwayne Beckford Story (Never Quit Pursuing Your Dreams)

Dwayne Beckford was one of the best linebackers in the country, but ran into several problems causing his dream to be put on hold

Dwayne Beckford was one of the best linebackers in the country, but ran into several problems causing his dream to be put on hold

Dwayne Beckford was once known as the fiercest linebacker in the New Jersey area.  In 2008, he was recruited heavily by many major division 1 programs, but ultimately chose Purdue.

While enrolling in Purdue, Beckford would eventually earn a starting position for the Boilermakers, and in 2010 and 2011 he started 18 games.  In 2011, Beckford finished with 91 tackles and was second on the team and 16th in the conference in the category.

The former New Jersey native was on his way to success, but immaturity stepped in the way.

Beckford’s poor decisions landed him multiple arrests including drug paraphernalia at the age of 19, a DUI at the charge of 20, and then while on house arrest for his DUI, he was arrested for possession of a synthetic drug as well as paraphernalia.  He was also in trouble for missing court dates, who ended up with probation. That was the last straw which had him kicked out of school.

Dwayne Beckford was heading in the wrong direction, and was able to rebound

Dwayne Beckford was heading in the wrong direction, and was able to rebound

I just wanted to know what was he thinking and where is he now?

This is a conference leader in tackles as a Junior at a major division 1 program.  He was a 2013 NFL Draft prospect but he has had to mature quite a bit.

The 6’1, 245 pound power house never quit.  He made some piss poor decisions and watched his dreams fade away.  His teammates would go on to play in the NFL, his friends would turn professionals, and all he could do was look himself in the mirror and shake his head.

Beckford could do two things, he could quit making the dumb decisions and become a man, try to find a place to play his final year of football, or quit and end up in jail.

Beckford made the decision, and he has recently been in contact with us.  We remembered Beckford when he was a kid, and we wanted to show the progress this young man has made.

Now 23, Beckford is following his dream.  While he is currently on probation, he has been clean for 2 years and change.  He has to take a drug test every week but he is ready to prove to everyone that his mistakes are behind him.

“Man, I am on the straight and narrow now. I lost way too much already. I’ve seen what it is like to not have anything. I began to have this fire in my chest just thinking about what I have lost.  That burns in me everyday, so I knew I had to pursue my dreams and stop acting childish.”

“I have seen everything go down the drain so fast. Life is Crazy! Being and adult sucks, working everyday and paying bills, I just don’t understand how people do it everyday. All I want is another chance to show what I can do.”

“I spent a few months in jail, everyone knew me, it was super embarrassing. Now I talk to people and they want to drink and party, that life for me is over. I don’t want any part of that lifestyle anymore. I want to be something, and I hope I will not be written off for my prior history.”

Beckford realized he needed to pursue his dream, but to do that he would need to get his transcripts to apply for another school.

“I was trying to get back into school, but after getting kicked out of Purdue, I was stuck with the tuition bill for that semester.  I was really struggling to get my transcripts and I was finally able to get them last fall.”

I am in pretty good shape, I am 245 pounds and still run in the 4.5's.  My body is in the best shape ever, because I am in my "Grown Man" body.  - Dwayne Beckford

I am in pretty good shape, I am 245 pounds and still run in the 4.5’s. My body is in the best shape ever, because I am in my “Grown Man” body. – Dwayne Beckford

Beckford was able to get his transcripts and he is back in school to play his final year.  Beckford enrolled at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a small NAIA school, which reviewed Beckford’s transcripts and gave him another opportunity. Beckford is looking to show NFL teams that he still has it and that he has matured.

“I am in pretty good shape, I am 245 pounds and still run in the 4.5’s.  My body is in the best shape ever, because I am in my “Grown Man” body.  I have matured a lot and changed completely over the past four years.  I do not want to be known for mistakes I have made, but rather how I turned my life around. Many people fall into a rut, but don’t know how to get out of it. I was in the rut, and I am crawling out. I will be successful, I am going to finish my degree and work hard to prove to my family, my community and the people that may have lost doubt in me that I am truly sorry. This is my year, and I feel everyone will know my name at the end of the year.”

Life is not easy, sometimes we are thrown a bone, while other times we are searching for the bone (LOST). It sounds like Dwayne was looking for his bone (LOST), but he found it (MATURING).  Maturity is something that must be proven, it is not given and Dwayne Beckford understands that.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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