August 14, 2007

Marked Man: Travis Beckum

MADISON, Wis. - After practice Monday morning, caught up with University of Wisconsin junior tight end Travis Beckum. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder set school records in receptions (61) and yards (903) during his debut at tight end last season, and he hopes to build on that success in 2007.

The following is this site's discussion with Maxwell Award Watch List member.

It looks like in practice you're catching nearly everything. Obviously you had a big year last year, and you were confident last year, but do you feel like you've moved up in confidence, taken it to the next level?

I do. I think my confidence has grown. Especially for team-wise, just being able to have the feeling that I can help the team when I put points on the board for the offense. And my blocking, too, that was kind of my downfall, which I wasn't really confident in. Which has changed and I'm extremely confident in that, and catching as well. So, my confidence is extremely high right now.

Like you said, your blocking all last year when we talked you said that was something you needed to work on. What were you able to do to bring that aspect of your game to another level?

I think it started in spring ball. I knew what the blocks were; it's just being in the right position at the right time and just knowing my fits and knowing where I'm at, knowing the offensive playbook better. I think that was really what I was lacking, which I kind of got better at over the spring.

Last year you obviously had a big year, and now you're a known commodity, so defenses are probably going to focus on you a little more. Do you think you can put forth the same effort, do the same things, although teams are going to have you as a marked man, so to speak?

I do. I mean I was used to it last year. I had it a lot last year, especially in the bowl game. And even if it does happen, it leaves stuff open for other players, especially the run game. Other players need to step up if I'm getting double coverage, triple coverage, because it's leaving something. It may be leaving one-on-one to the wide receivers and especially, like I said, the run game. It should be great for us.

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