Tyler Beasley has been continuing to work during the offseason.
If a high school football player only has one scholarship offer, having it come from a history-rich Southeastern Conference school is as good as it gets.
The Out-of-Door Academy quarterback Tyler Beasley, who will be a senior next semester, holds an offer from the storied University of Tennessee football program thanks to his work with his private quarterback coach Adrian McPherson. McPherson, who was born in Bradenton, played college football at Florida State and was a fifth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2005.
Beasley, who is 6-foot-1, said he's been working with McPherson since August 2019. Even during the quarantine, Beasley said, they have been completing three sessions a day, mixing up exercises that include throwing at a field at University Park Place in Sarasota. He also has been sparring at Title Boxing Club, running at Sarasota's Celery Fields and lifting weights at various places.
"It's a lot of working on fundamentals when we're throwing at the field," Beasley said. "We're going through the motions and making sure everything feels right. I also spend a lot of time thinking about my decision making. I need to lock in and make sure I cut down on mental mistakes."
McPherson's college football connections, which include Tennessee quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida State, have helped get Beasley noticed by several coaching staffs despite Beasley not being ranked high by recruiting services such as Rivals and 24/7 Sports.
Beasley's hard work finally paid off with the Tennessee offer, which Beasley said he was not expecting.
"Tennessee is a great program," Beasley said. "They have a lot of history. They are well-respected. It seems like an amazing place. When Chris Weinke texted me about the offer, I was just psyched and excited."
Beasley has yet to verbally commit to Tennessee, a program that produced Peyton Manning, with Mississippi, Florida Atlantic and New Hampshire showing interest.
No other program has offered Beasley a scholarship, but that is likely to change. If Beasley doesn't verbally commit before next football season, his his second with K.B. Belton (offensive coordinator last year and head coach this year) calling the plays, he could enhance his prospects with a big year.
Belton said Beasley has a ton of talent and showed marked improvement last year. Belton said Beasley's strong arm is a great fit for ODA's system, which is designed for a long passing game. Last season at ODA, Beasley threw for 10 touchdowns and ran for eight more in just nine games, leading ODA to a 6-3 record.
Beasley's offer list might already have been expanding but his camp opportunities have dwindled due to the pandemic. Beasley said he was scheduled to attend an Elite 11 camp for quarterbacks in March, but it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ODA was also scheduled to play in a 7-on-7 league this spring — an increasingly popular way for teams to scout skill position players — but that, too, was canceled.
"This whole thing has definitely been a setback in terms of my recruitment," Beasley said. "It is a little frustrating. But it has been a setback for everyone else, too. I just have to keep working and keep getting better because that is all I can do right now."