BECKETT IS BACK: VT Transfer, Tavante Beckett making a difference for the Herd


Richard Crank

MU vs Ohio Football Game (Battle for the Bell)

This time last football season, Marshall University linebacker Tavante Beckett was sidelined, sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

This season, the redshirt junior leads the team in tackles with 91 and will be a captain on Saturday against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

“When you have to sit out, you come back, and you have a little different attitude about you,” Head Coach Doc Holliday said. “He found out how much he missed football; how important it was to him.”

After deciding to transfer from Virginia Tech, Beckett arrived at Marshall, and in his time as a starter this season, he has been an important cog on the defense.

“I’m just happy to get back out there and make plays and make a difference,” Beckett said. “I’m just happy to be here.”

Although he is somewhat undersized for his position at 5 feet 10 inches and 209 pounds, Beckett has excelled in his role as the “will” linebacker, and his emergence has been even more important after losing fellow starting linebacker Jaquan Yulee for the season.

His production and ability to clog running lanes have been big keys to Marshall’s defense, giving up only 127.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks 32nd out of 129 teams nationally.

“He’s all over the field, and (he) plays extremely hard,” Holliday said. “He’s fun to watch, and I think you see him continue to grow every week.”

Earlier this season, Beckett said he was getting down on himself when he was not making tackles or big plays, but with the more he “cared about the team,” his mindset changed.

With his changed mindset and confidence, Beckett has racked up 33 unassisted tackles to go along with seven tackles-for-loss and two sacks. He is also second in Conference USA in total tackles.

After a 13-tackle performance against Louisiana Tech on Friday, Nov. 15, Beckett earned his first ever Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week honor on Monday.

“Stats are good, but we’re winning a lot,” Beckett said. “That’s all that matters.”

As Marshall heads into the last two weekends of the regular season, Beckett said he and the team must enjoy the moments.

“We work hard all year long for 12, 13 games; You’ve got to enjoy it,” Beckett said. “Enjoy the moment with your brothers that you grind with every day.”

Beckett and the Marshall football team travel to Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend to play their last regular season road game against the Charlotte 49ers at 2:30 p.m.on Saturday, Nov. 23

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected].