Offensive tackle Matt Beyer (San Antonio/Reagan) is not making any excuses. He isn’t harboring any resentment.
The reason his recruiting didn’t take off initially was because of what he did to himself last summer. If it’s possible, Beyer overworked himself. He wanted so badly to get bigger and stronger that he stopped listening to his body.
During offseason workouts, Beyer said he was getting tired while lifting. And then it was just a domino effect. Fatigue led to bad form. Bad form led to injury. An injury that never really went away during the 2011 season.
Beyer suffered an incomplete fracture of the L5 vertebrae and was forced to watch most of the 2011 season from the sidelines.
“It’s a lineman’s injury,” Beyer said. “I was told like 30 percent of the offensive linemen in the NFL have it but not all of them realize it. It slowed me down for a while. I’m back now.”
And now the offers are rolling in.
Beyer, who is 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, is a four-star prospect whose recruiting has picked up considerably since the spring evaluation period.
He had to silence the critics about his injury, and that’s what he did with his spring football performance. With Oklahoma, Oregon, Oklahoma State and Baylor in the running, Beyer doesn’t care that his recruitment was slow in the winter.
“I missed the first half of last season and coaches had questions about my health,” Beyer said. “It was totally understandable. I hope I’ve answered those questions and have shown I can carry the weight again.”
The Sooners are the latest to enter the picture, offering Beyer last week. Beyer is familiar with OU through his former teammates, the Knight brothers. Quarterback Trevor Knight was OU’s choice at the position for the 2012 class, while twin brother Connor is going to be a preferred walk-on for the Sooners.
Beyer knows he can ask the Knight brothers anything about OU, but he also has his own opinion after attending OU’s junior day in February.
“I was very excited to get the OU offer because I know what the Sooners have been able to do in sending offensive tackles to the NFL," he said. "You have to be excited about that."
Originally from Minnesota, Beyer said the Golden Gophers were among the schools he was speaking to the most. However, things have changed as Minnesota looks like it might have wrapped up its tackle search with the commitment of Alex Mayes (Van Alstyne, Texas/Van Alstyne) last week.
Beyer visited Oregon last weekend. During the summer months in Texas, green grass can often turn to brown. But in Eugene, Ore., Beyer said the biggest difference was seeing how green everything was.
Landscape aside, Beyer said he enjoyed his visit with the Ducks and getting to spend quality time with Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
“The city is actually pretty big, but the atmosphere of the campus has a real small town feel. I had a lot of fun,” Beyer said.
And distance is not a problem.
"You know, I grew up in Minnesota and now live in Texas. I’m used to new things,” Beyer said. “No matter where you go you’re going to be making new friends and experiencing new things. It doesn’t matter.”
Beyer is going to visit family in Minnesota this week to think things over. He said he is adamant about having his college decision done before his senior season. It could come as early as the next couple of weeks.
“I want to have this done. It has been a blessing, but I want to be able to focus on my senior season and helping my team,” Beyer said. “I’m getting close to being ready.”