Safety Joe Bean out of Hooker HS (Hooker, Okla.) is an under-the-radar player, but his impressive junior year stats are finally beginning to help him garner some attention on the recruiting circuit.
Bean recently picked up an offer from San Diego State, which is his third. His other offers are from New Mexico and Wyoming.
Bean started on both sides of the ball for his school last year. As the quarterback, he racked up 1,797 yards and rushed for 1,281 yards and ten touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, he had 117 tackles to go along with two sacks and two interceptions.
When you watch film on Bean, you always see the free safety around the ball. He absolutely flies to the ballcarrier, and he does a great job at bringing the ballcarrier to the ground.
There's a reason why Bean is always around the ball.
"In high school, you know we watch film. That's one thing in high school that you think would be a nice break for players, but that's the one thing that separates the good from the great," said Bean. "Even if you have all the athleticism in the world, you can be a great player and all. However, if you study film on your opponent and you know what they're doing, then that makes you know what's coming and makes you more prepared on the field. It makes you instinctive, and it helps you know what's coming. I have a nose for the ball, and I have the physicality needed for a safety."
Bean's love for watching game film is exactly what you want in a safety.
Bean learned a lot about himself throughout his junior season.
"I did well last year. Now that I know all my strengths and my weaknesses, I can try to turn my weaknesses into my strengths," said Bean. "I can just keep going forward from there. I want to take the great opportunity that I had last year and just run with it and try to improve."
Going into his senior season, Bean has high expectations for himself and his team.
"My expectations for myself are very high. When somebody mentions the panhandle of Oklahoma, I want them to bring my name up and say positive things," stated Bean. "I want my numbers to be double what they were last year. Overall, I just want my team to get past the first round. I honestly think we have a shot at a championship this year."
How did Bean's offer from SDSU come to fruition?
"I got invited to one of SDSU's camps down there because they saw some of my highlight films," said Bean. "i've put highlight films everywhere. I have sent highlight films to just about every school in the nation. I went to the camp, and they wanted to see if it was just hype or not. I showed them how I play, and they were excited. They said they could really see me coming into their program and help them out, so they gave me an offer right there."
Bean admitted that his performance at the SDSU camp was one of his more impressive days as a football player.
"It was one of my better days. The receivers weren't catching the ball against me, and I had everyone on lockdown. I had an interception in 1-on-1 against a 6-foot-4 guy," said Bean.
Bean found his first ever visit to San Diego to be an extremely enjoyable experience.
"I came out to San Diego with my girlfriend because she has family in San Diego. We stayed with them, and they took us to the campus actually," said Bean. "The weather was real good, the food was amazing and the beach was pretty awesome. It was a good experience overall."
The SDSU coaching staff has been educating Bean on exactly how he would fit into the program.
"The coaching staff said I'd be playing the Aztec position, which is a hybrid linebacker/safety," said Bean. "Sometimes, I'll be in the box and they'll rush me, and sometimes I'll drop back into coverage."
Bean expressed excitement at the prospect of playing the Aztec position.
"Playing the Aztec sounds really good," asserted Bean. "Coach Long said that Brian Urlacher played the Lobo for him at New Mexico, which was the same position as the Aztec. Now, Urlacher's in the NFL doing well, and it's very exciting to me."
Overall, Bean seems impressed by the SDSU football program.
"SDSU is a good school. I like them a lot. They are very down to earth. Being from the panhandle and being from a smaller high school, I can relate to SDSU being a smaller football school. It's not that they don't have much, but they're not like Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, or Texas, the guys like that," said Bean "I can really bond with that and know what it's like to be like that. They're good guys, down to earth and they get after it because they don't have the things schools like Oklahoma State have, so they want to work twice as hard to get there.
Bean will not solely base his college decision on a school's football program.
"My education comes first," said Bean, "After that, the people, the atmosphere and the tradition matter to me. If you have a good tradition, and you're on the rise, I want to be at your place. I want a place that's welcoming and that can be my home away from home."
As for moving out of the state of Oklahoma for school?
"I've really thought about moving away since San Diego is so far away from home. I just want the best fit for me," said Bean. "Moving away wouldn't matter if I went there, and I fell in love with it. It would be hard living that far away from home, but if it's a place I love, I'll do it."
Although he has just three offers at the moment, other big schools have expressed interest in his services.
"I'm hearing from Colorado State, TCU, Rice, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Kansas State," said Bean.
However, Bean is in no rush to make a decision. Before he chooses a school, he plans to take a lot of time to weigh all of his options.