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July 4, 2012
Beyer Works to Prove Himself to Sooners
Any thought that Matt Beyer had of releasing the news of his Monday morning commitment to Oklahoma on his own time quickly went out the window when his former San Antonio Reagan teammate, and Sooner freshman quarterback, Trevor Knight tweeted out the news to the masses on Monday.
The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Beyer was busy working at his daily job when news began to leak out and tried to hold off on interviews until he had chance to speak with Bob Stoops. While that didn't come off completely as planned he did finally speak with Stoops on Tuesday night and then sat down with SoonerScoop.com to talk about his decision.
"Yes sir, Trevor tweeted (the commitment) out. I texted him and told him I committed, and then I saw he tweeted it - it was like 'oh that was fast'," Beyer chuckled.
And while many thought Trevor and Connor Knight might have played a huge role, Beyer says that's something he tried to take out of his decision process.
"The opportunity to play with Trevor and Connor is great but really, I tried to keep them as not a major factor in my decision," he admitted.
"Trevor and Connor are great resources to make my decision but if they weren't there I'd still be going to Oklahoma next summer. I love it there and the thing they helped me with, I could text them and they could get me information and they could call me back, you know? Obviously the chance to play with Trevor and Connor again, I definitely tried to be unbiased about that, and see if it's best for me."
While Oklahoma offered Beyer after his performance at their San Antonio satellite camp on June 12, it was much earlier that he began to think that the Sooners could be the right fit for him.
"Oklahoma was the first team I went to of the entire spring, when I was there for the (Feb. 4) junior day. I obviously had a great time; really I couldn't come out with any questions that I wanted answered," he said. "I was with coach (James) Patton and coach (Bruce) Kittle. Oklahoma's linemen have been very, very successful both in the Big 12 and becoming All-Americans because they practice against the best every day.
"I mean for them it's a bit of getting the best recruits or getting the most out of what they get. Getting the chance to compete against great players will only help me get better."
Beyer seems a player who while talented is ready to see what he can pick up from both Kittle and Patton and it seems the two have been very open that they see the big man starting out at tackle. And though he did enjoy spending some time with them in Norman he realized that working out with them in mid-June would offer him a unique look at just what he can expect when he gets to Norman.
"Both coaches are obviously great at what they do. I really respect both of them. They are great coaches," he said.
"Coach Kittle, he focused a lot on technique, he wasn't afraid too get in your ear and you know, motivate you. Then he'd take you aside, and ask 'you know what you did wrong' and tell you how to work it and get better.
"My understanding is I was brought in as an offensive tackle, (in fact) coach Kittle made a point to me he'd be my position coach, if they need me to move inside after I get there, I'm willing to go into it."
So was there anything in particular that Kittle worked with Beyer on?
"Obviously the run game, I was familiar, the pass game, fairly familiar but the thing that was different is the kick step. (At Reagan) we are coached to lean a bit of opposite the way you are moving. Basically f I'm stepping inside, I'm leaning back a bit, and it's kind of just to balance out your motion and your weight. Coach Kittle coached me up on the way he would do it - pretty much just staying square from start to finish," Beyer explained.
Though it took little time for Beyer to make the choice of Oklahoma after the Sooners offered about two weeks ago, prior to that offer he says he wasn't taking Oklahoma, or any school that had not offered him, all that seriously.
"It was kind of a gradual feeling as far as knowing Oklahoma was right. Basically, I came in thinking 'don't count on a school until they offered you'. I didn't want to get worried too much about programs that may have messaged me or something," he said.
"I may not have thought of a school until they offered me, I always liked Oklahoma, and of course, like I said, having Trevor and Connor there - it was a great resource."
While Trevor Knight had initially planned to show up in Norman in January due to extenuating circumstances with Oklahoma's scholarship numbers he was forced to wait until June before enrolling as a Sooner. Now that he is there, he isn't beating around the bush when telling Beyer what to expect during Oklahoma's infamously tough summer workouts.
"Trevor is very straight forward, he'll just tell you 'this isn't high school football anymore, everybody here is a great athlete, you've got to work hard every day'. I'm definitely willing to take that chance and work for it," he said without hesitation.
Knight has quickly established himself as one of the leaders of the 2012 class and though Beyer isn't yet familiar with any of his fellow 2013 Sooner commitments he hopes to follow suit. That said, after a scary injury last summer Beyer is simply glad to have the opportunities in front of him.
"(The injury) was a big question that a lot of colleges had. It's obviously something they have to do their due diligence on. I felt like through my spring, I proved myself to be healthy and was back to my flexibility. I think I've proved that - if I hadn't we wouldn't be having this conversation right now," he stated.
So what exactly took place?
"Basically what happened, last summer, I was away from the football program on vacation with a friend. We were squatting and it wasn't a matter of going real heavy or anything like that. Late in the workout, I got tired, and once you get tired, you get bad form, and it leads to injury. It was a monster created by myself, I shouldn't have let myself get bad form - it was my own fault," he explained. "I had to spend time in the back brace, I spent that time, what the injury was - a stress facture an incomplete unilateral of my L5 on the left side. My doctor said you never want to have a back injury, but if you were to have, you want the one that I had because you've got the best chance of healing. I've been cleared at full activity and feel fine now."