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Beck in mix to punt for Georgia Southern
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Anthony Beck
Anthony Beck

2019 Eagles Schedule

Aug. LSU

Sept. 7...........................Maine

Sept. Minnesota

Sept. 28.....................Louisiana

Oct. South Alabama

Oct. 19..............Coastal Carolina

Oct. 26...........New Mexico State

Oct. Appalachian State

Nov. Troy

Nov. 16............................ULM

Nov. Arkansas State

Nov. 30................Georgia State

STATESBORO — Anthony Beck has a strong leg to stand on in the battle to become the punter for the Georgia Southern Eagles.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound redshirt freshman from South Effingham was named the All-Region 2-AAAAA punter in 2016 and 2017. He averaged 38 yards per kick during his senior campaign. His longest boot was 59 yards and he had 16 punts downed inside the 20.

“I came in as a punter and they tried me out at tight end,” Beck said. “I really wasn’t strong enough to be up with the big boys just yet so I stuck with punter and that’s really been my focus since the start of last season.”

Beck has changed his technique since arriving at the college level. He ditched the rugby style he employed with the Mustangs in favor of a straight-on approach.

“In college, (the players are) a lot faster so I had to get the ball off a lot quicker,” Beck said. “I have a few coaches helping me with where my steps are, how I am dropping the ball and how fast I am getting it off.”

Beck said he has had to shave a full second off his launch times.

“If your time is above two seconds, you are looking at getting it blocked,” he said. “Getting it under two seconds is pretty much where you have to be and that’s a big difference from high school.”

Beck and three teammates are vying for the Eagles’ punting job, including returning starter Magill Bauerle. A redshirt junior, Bauerle averaged 38.6 yards per kick last season.

“It’s up in the air right now,” Beck said. “I’ve just got to keep working and doing what I’m doing to get better everyday, and we’ll see when August 31 comes around.”

Beck and his fellow punters have been working out together this summer with their long snappers.

“We aren’t allowed to have any coaches out there right now so it’s just the specialists out there doing our own thing,” Beck said. “We’re helping each other, watching each other and competing for the season.”

Working strictly on punting has been a switch for Beck. He played quarterback and linebacker at South Effingham.

“I was all over the field in high school but in college we just do our little section in practice and then we pretty much have the rest of it off,” he said.

The Eagles, set to start fall camp Aug. 1, were recently picked to finish third in the Sun Belt Conference by the league’s head coaches. They rebounded to 10-3 last season after slipping to 2-10 in 2017.

“Our whole motto is just ‘Good to great,’” Beck said. “We had a ten-win season last year but we have to get better and it’s a lot harder to improve from ten wins than it is from two wins. It’ll be about the little things to go from good to great.”

Appalachian State and Louisiana were tapped to win the East and West divisions, respectively.