The NFL Draft is a bittersweet thing for college Football teams. It is a great, great thing to watch the guys that you have been following for years get their success validated with a big, big check. On the other hand all of the guys who get drafted leave massive, literally in this case, holes in the roster that have to be plugged. The question is who does it?
The answer is red shirt Sophomore Camaron Beard from Indianapolis. Beard will be inheriting Wolfe's spot as the three technique tackle in this defense, but he won't be counted on to match Wolfe's outsized production from that spot in 2011.
Beard is an interesting case study for this defensive staff and their preference for speed over outright power. Beard started out as a defensive end in high school and was considered a DE all the way through the process. But when he got to UC the intention was clearly to move him to defensive tackle. He red shirted in 2010 and hit the training table and weight room hard.
The concerns with Beard are the same concerns you have with any young guy. How quickly can he adapt to the position/speed of the game and can he physically hold up. On the first point it's hard to say. Beard only played in five games as a red shirt freshman registering 4 tackles and 1 QB hurry in garbage time situations. On the second the answer is yes. Beard was up to 280 pounds in the spring and should be topping 285 by the time fall camp rolls around.
For what it's worth Steve Strippling loves Beard and what he brings to the table. That's why he has already been named the starter coming out of Spring Practice. Beard has a ton of potential. All he has to do at this point is start tapping into it.
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