Catching up with Kevin Beard

Catching up with Kevin Beard

Peter Ariz
Every few months, I have the opportunity to catch up with former University of Miami wide receiver Kevin Beard, who is the WR coach at local powerhouse University School as well as a coach for the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team. We chatted about the crazy offseason at U-School, Miami’s recent recruiting efforts, and he broke down the newest commitments for the 2016 class.

PA: Between Coach Roger Harriott leaving to FAU and some of the big names from last season heading elsewhere, I don’t think there are many programs in the country that have gone through as much change as the U-School program this offseason. Talk about how the coaching staff has regrouped and how are things looking for the upcoming season.

KB: The school has hired Brandon Harris to replace Roger Harriott. He has won nine state championships, five as a head coach and four as an offensive coordinator out in Arizona so he has that winning mentality and he really understands the game. He has gone to many coaching clinics and things of that nature and he has done a good job of keeping what we have left. We stuck around and believe in him and because of that, a lot of the young kids also stayed. I can just see us being what we were back in 2007 where we are building from the ground up with the young guys. In two years, I’m very excited about what we can be.

PA: Some of the top prospects might be gone (Jordan Scarlett, Sam Bruce, Rashard Causey, Brandon Boyce), but who are some guys we should look out for this year?

KB: Faion Hicks (2017) was a running back for us, but I think he will be more of a corner now. He’s about 5-11, 185 and is physical at corner. Billy Mitchell plays wide receiver for us, but he is also the top ranked kicker for the 2017 class as well. Jonathan Moore played fullback for us last year and he’s back. One kid we are really excited about is Alfonso Blades, which is Al Blades’ son. The awareness and football mind that he has as a 9th grader is not something you see every day. He is going to be a real special kid. There are a lot of young guys that we will get to know more once camp starts in a couple weeks. It is all a part of this process.

PA: When you and I have spoken in the past, you had expressed a bit of concern about Miami not having as much success recruiting the area as you would have liked. Have you seen the staff take a different approach recently?

KB: Oh, definitely there has been a change. That was a big concern of mine. I’ve realized though that coaches can’t listen to outsiders a lot of times. They go after the top kids but if they can’t get those guys then they gotta go after other kids in their backyard. I’m definitely excited with what has taken place though because they are really attacking the backyard now and that will make everything easier for them.

PA: Let’s talk about some of these 2016 wide receiver commits because you have had the chance to work with all of them at either University School (Bruce) or with the South Florida Express. What makes Sam Bruce so special?

KB: Sam Bruce is a Miami football player in a nutshell. If he would have gone to any other school, he wouldn’t have fit in. Miami is known for a specific type of dude and mentality and that’s what he has. He is special. Sam is in that mold. He’s a dog and a leader. He will do anything and everything to get the job done. I’m definitely excited that he decided to stay home.

PA: Next up, Dionte Mullins. You coached him during 7-on-7 season so what do you see that makes him a big-time player?

KB: It’s funny because when I first saw him play, it was all about big plays. When you think about Miami, you remember big plays being made. Michael Irvin said big time players make big time plays in big time games and that model is nationwide now because of the UM wide receiver and Dionte embodies that. He is always going to make a play and that’s what UM needs, playmakers. He grew up right in that area 10 minutes away from school and he understands the mindset and lifestyle that comes with being a UM player so I think he will be a great piece for this program.

PA: The last of the bunch is Dredrick Snelson. I was really impressed with him at the Express tryouts. Talk about what he brings to the table.

KB: Man, he’s a ball of explosiveness. I tell people that he reminds me of Victor Cruz. He’s not short, but he’s not tall and he is physically put together. You don’t find many receivers who are looking for contact like he is. Most receivers avoid contact at all costs, but he is physical, explosive, athletic and the one thing I’m excited about is that he is starting to figure it out. He is starting to understand that it’s not all about being fast and explosiveness, but you also need the fundamentals to make the game easier. I would put him in the mold of a Reggie Wayne, where he might not run a 4.3, but that 4.4 he runs will do everything the 4.3 can because he’s so smooth and physical. That’s such a nice trio to start the 2016 class. I would not be surprised if Freddie Pinder joins that group next. If they can take one more receiver, I think he would be the guy to set the class off and make it something major. I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to turn the corner. Every year they’ve gotten better.

PA: I wanted to ask you about a guy that Miami recently hired to work in a recruiting role as Assistant Director of Football Ops, Jorge Baez. Not many people know much about him, but I’ve been saying he was a great addition. I know he was involved with the Express, so what do you think about the hire based on your experiences with him?

KB: Oh my goodness, I don’t even know if Miami really understands what they brought to the table. I know they brought him on board so they had to know something, but it goes so beyond just the surface with him. He has the inside scoop in the community. Guys really, really trust them and he trusts the community. He was well known all around from the bottom (Homestead) to North Florida. Guys will be able to ask him questions and I know that he will kept it real more than anybody else. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can take his word and he knows that he can take my word. If he asks me ‘KB, what do you think about this kid?’ and I tell him ‘Y’all gotta come get this dude, he’s only a 9th or 10th grader, but if y’all are the first ones to give him that attention then it puts you in the driver’s seat.’ I think he played a major part in Dionte Mullins committing and he will bring other kids along with him. It was just a great hire.
 

Comments (48)

Great guy. Won't be long before he's coaching in the college ranks
 
I don't care if Blades is d3 caliber he needs a scholarship period.
 
On Jorge Baez- "I think he played a major part in Dionte Mullins committing and he will bring other kids along with him. It was just a great hire." Thats awesome, Mullins obviously a huge get.. I had a feeling that hire would work out really well for us. Hopefully, we get a few more studs with him.
 
Baez was a smart hire just like Coley but AG can't fire the potato that coaches defense, it's fkin mind boggling seriously.
 
D
Good read, thanks.

 
From Coley to Hurlie, Harris, and now Baez. Golden sure knows how to pick em. All of them have been home runs so far.
 
D
From Coley to Hurlie, Harris, and now Baez. Golden sure knows how to pick em. All of them have been home runs so far.

Soo Donorfrio, Kehoe, Carroll, Scott, Jethro, Barrow, and Williams are _______?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Great Interview. Love KB for going absolutely ham against Florida 2003
 
I hope we can bring kevin beard on the staff soon too. I remember as a kid watching him score that touchdown against florida at the pieline. One of my most favorite players at UM. Think about it in a couple of years ed reed, ray Lewis, and Michael Irvin will most likely join the staff in some capacity. What kid wouldn't want be around them with the guys we already have. We are definitely moving in the right direction. I feel the community is starting to come back around to UM. We need that and we will be back sooner than most expect....
 
Moar guys like this

Sam Bruce is a Miami football player in a nutshell. If he would have gone to any other school, he wouldn’t have fit in. Miami is known for a specific type of dude and mentality and that’s what he has. He is special. Sam is in that mold. He’s a dog and a leader. He will do anything and everything to get the job done. I’m definitely excited that he decided to stay home.
 
One kid we are really excited about is Alfonso Blades, which is Al Blades’ son. The awareness and football mind that he has as a 9th grader is not something you see every day. He is going to be a real special kid.

Can't just skip by that. Anyone in that family is a welcome addition to the team.

 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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