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January 21, 2007

Beekman diary: Keeping a level head

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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. Beekman has agreed to write a diary for Rivals.com as he gets ready for the draft.

In the week leading up to the Senior Bowl, Beekman returned to Boston College. Although he already has his bachelor's degree in history and black studies, Beekman is pursuing a Master's degree in administrative studies.

"I've been hitting the weights and hitting the exercise machines, doing a little technique work here in the bubble. I've been just getting ready to play in a football game. It's been a while. It's been almost a month since I've done real football operations as far as having a football practice and playing a game. I'm just back up here saying, 'Hi,' to people and getting contact information. I'm in the Master's program here at Boston College, so I can have something to do while I'm not training. It's something to keep my mind off training.

"I've heard (Senior Bowl week) is important. These are the drills you're more than likely going to be doing for organizations. You want to show you can do them correctly. They want to see how well you adapt, how well you meet the challenge day by day. You're going to be going against the best of the best. It makes you better just going against some of the best players in the nation."

Beekman said he is following the advice that former Boston College teammate Mathias Kiwanuka gave him about preparing for the draft. Kiwanuka just finished his rookie season with the New York Giants after getting drafted in the first round last year.

"He just said to keep a level head. As much as you want to be on the field, don't go crazy off the field. There's a lot of temptation when you get out of college. You think you've achieved something, but you haven't really achieved anything because you're still interviewing for a job on the next level. A lot of guys will indulge themselves by getting a new car or clothes. (He said to) just keep yourself level-headed and keep your mind-set right. This is a business. He said that at the Senior Bowl you'll meet a good group of guys. He said you could trade some BC gear for stuff from another college, other apparel you're not used to seeing. He said to make friends and know that even though you're going against these guys, it's still a learning opportunity for you to get better. These are your future opponents and maybe your future teammates. I think I'm going to bring some of my own (BC) stuff and maybe trade with a couple of guys. I'll see who's willing to wear some BC gear."

This marked the final week in which underclassmen could enter their names in the NFL Draft. Beekman said he never seriously considered turning pro early despite playing well his junior season.

"They all have to do what they think is best for them and their families. If they think they've had enough at the college level and have achieved what they want to achieve, I can't blame them for leaving. I wish them the best of luck. For me, I know that as a junior, I wanted to stay at BC. I just wanted to come back. I was going to be a senior and wanted to have my final hurrah at BC. I never really looked at jumping to the next level early. I just wanted to stay back and enjoy the time with my teammates. In the NFL, it's a different league. As much as you're all coming together for a certain goal, the guys aren't in dorms hanging out. They have their own families to go to and other responsibilities. I said, 'Let me just enjoy one more year of being a student.' I had a great year. We went 10-3 and played in a great bowl game. I don't regret my decision at all."

More NFL Draft Diaries: Florida's Marcus Thomas | Wisconsin's Joe Thomas



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