Name: Nick Begg
School: Santa Margarita Catholic – Santa Margarita, CA
Vitals: 6’5, 245 lbs
- Rivals: NR
- Scout: NR
- ESPN: NR
- 247Sports: NR
FBS Offers: Arizona State (committed, grayshirted, flipped), Washington State
Player Type: Utility
Best Attributes: Size, Versatility
Prediction and Early Impact:
Old teammate of current Cougs River Cracraft and Riley Sorensen, Nick Begg is going to be a do-it-all project for Washington State. Leach and offensive line coach Clay McGuire envision Begg as an eventual offensive lineman, but he will start his career as an extra blocker, whether that come from the H-back or tight end position.
I can hear you now… “What?”
Indeed, Leach wants to install an H-back into his offense again, and yes I said again. So much in the air raid is talked about with the throwing of the football, pundits and fans alike forget that Leach actually ran the ball with a fair amount of success back in the Texas Tech days. It was made possible because he employed an H-back (or a back in front of the shotgun quarterback but behind the line of scrimmage that can slide from side to side, doubling as a tight end and fullback combo-man). Occasionally, Leach would like to use an extra lineman as well so Begg could also get his time in as a hand-down tight end to add a little extra beef in short-yardage situations.
The thought was to have Cole Madison do this last season, but he grew quickly into an offensive lineman and Leach was never able to install the package. Remember also with the influence of running back coach Jim Mastro, the Cougars have mulled over adding a pistol package as well, where Begg could end up in a true fullback alignment. We’ll just have to see where the options take it offensively.
He was also a pretty good defensive end in high school but in a different defense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him line up on punt return or field goal block with his hand down as a DE, but I don’t think he’ll translate to the Cougar 3-4 defense all that effectively.
For now though, between all of that and with his size and speed on special teams, expect Begg to be a surprisingly useful addition to the Washington State roster in 2014. I also think he becomes very valuable there and sticks in this role long-term.
“Freshman Impact Potential” Grade: 8