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January 15, 2007

Beekman diary: Preparing for grind

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Boston College offensive guard Josh Beekman just finished a senior season in which he earned second-team All-America honors from Rivals.com. Frank Coyle of draftinsiders.com rates Beekman as the No. 99 prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft. Beekman has agreed to share his draft preparation/experiences with Rivals.com. In this entry, he details how he has spent the weeks since his college career ended with a 25-24 victory over Navy in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

"Mentally, you have to take time for yourself. My teammates who have gone before me to the NFL said you've got a gauntlet in front of you with the preparation, the training, the combine and everything. Even during the season, you really don't have time to relax, being a rookie. This past week after the bowl I really relaxed. I went home, saw a couple of friends and tried to enjoy their company. The amount of time I'm going to be able to see them is going to be zero unless they come to games. I wanted to re-energize my batteries and get mentally prepared for the next journey and the next stage of my life.

"This past week, I've been training out in Jacksonville, Fla. I've been picking up some new types of training and speed, preparing my body for the rigorous test that will come before me."

Beekman also had to go through the process of selecting an agent. He eventually signed with Empire Sports.

"It's a difficult process. You almost want to equate it with finding a school when you were first coming out of high school. You have to build that relationship. You need to find out who's best for you and who's going to do right with you. It's just like finding a school. I prayed about it, then I narrowed it down and sat down with agents. In the end I wanted to go with Empire."

"Everybody wants to be in that No. 1 round. There are only 32 slots. If you're fortunate enough to be in it, it's a blessing from God. I'm going to push myself to be one of those 32, but I just want to maximize my potential and show what I've got for an organization, show the coaches. In the end, you could be a No. 1 depending on what people need in the draft. We'll see what happens. I'll be in the Senior Bowl on the 27th. I'll be playing in that. It will be good to go against some of the good guys in the nation. I look forward to it.

"I talked to a couple of my (former Boston College) teammates who went before me and just finished their season. (Oakland Raiders linebacker) Ricky Brown, who was a free agent, just said it's a grind and to be ready for the combine and everything else. It's different from the college football season. You keep plugging along, keep your body right and your mind right and do what we've done at Boston College to be successful. He said good luck to me. Mathias Kiwanuka of the New York Giants said it's a difficult league. You've really got to know your stuff; you've got to be more of a professional. At the college level, you can get away with natural ability. At the next level, you've got to know what you're doing and take care of yourself and be ready week to week. I took that advice to heart and said, 'Thank you.' It's a business. It's a fun game you've been playing all your life, but you have to be at the top of your game."

Although his college career has ended, Beekman is looking forward to seeing how Boston College will fare under a new head coach. The Eagles hired former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski to replace Tom O'Brien, who left to take the head coaching job at North Carolina State.

"We got introduced to the new guy briefly at a press conference. I think he'll be a good guy for the program as they try to bring in the best coach they possibly can to replace Coach O'Brien. I didn't get to meet him meet him because I was transitioning out, but he seems like an energetic guy. He's been there before under Coach O'Brien (as the former Boston College offensive coordinator). He knows New England. He knows the Boston area. I think they're going to be fine. They just need to make their adjustments, and I think they'll be fine."



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