Devin Beckley’s first love might be baseball, but football isn’t far behind.
The senior has been a standout at both during his career at Camden High. On the diamond, Beckley was an all-state pitcher last year and is committed to The Citadel.
On the gridiron, he’s developed into one of the Midlands’ top quarterbacks in his second season as a starter.
“There is nothing like Friday nights,” Beckley said. “Baseball holds a special place in my heart, too. I have been playing baseball longer, but I love football. The day after you play a football game, you feel sore, but you feel proud to know that you played hard.”
Beckley’s been at his best over the past few weeks as the Bulldogs make a push for the Region 3-3A title. Camden will host Fairfield Central on Friday, and a victory would give them a share of the region crown.
Last week against Columbia, Beckley was 16 of 24 for 276 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for a score in the 41-14 victory to earn The State’s Offensive Player of the Week honors. Over the past two games, Beckley has accounted for nine touchdowns and is completing 63 percent of his passes.
Spring Valley’s Channing Tindal was named the Defensive Player of the Week.
“We’ve got a lot of athletes, so the key is not making mistakes and turning the ball over. Just getting the ball in our playmakers’ hands. That is pretty much it,” Beckley said. “I think we have had five plays of more than 20 yards, and 400 yards the last few weeks. We are definitely clicking.”
For the season, Beckley has thrown for 2,036 yards and 16 touchdowns, and also ran for 12 scores. He was selected to the North squad for the North-South All-Star Game, where he’ll play for his high school coach Jimmy Neal, who said it was a no-brainer to take Beckley and receiver Jo Jo Watson.Watson leads the Midlands in receiving yards.
“He can coach the quarterbacks that are there with us how to do this thing. It is a positive to have him on the team,” Neal said. “He is just an outstanding player. He’s got a good sense for the game and understands what we are doing. He is a special guy and really good quarterback. I hate that this is his last year playing.”
Beckley hopes the Bulldogs have a lot of time left on the field. After Friday’s game, Camden will have a week off before the playoffs begin on Nov. 18.
“We’ve got a chance to play for a region championship, so that is all you can ask for,” Beckley said. “If we can get on a roll on offense and fix some holes on defense, we can be the team to beat in the playoffs.”