PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — When you watch Darius Beckum play, you’ll notice he frequently wears an ear-to-ear grin.
He loves playing football. And loves being quarterback for the explosive Peoria High Lions.
“It’s really fun. We’re executing. The whole line, the receivers,” Beckum said. “We’re good.”
Beckum is glad he’s getting a senior year to play football this spring. He’s grown from an inexperienced quarterback into a polished leader.
He may be known for his running ability but he says he actually loves it when he’s asked to pass.
“I like passing the ball. If the running game is there, it’s there,” said Beckum.
He rushed for four touchdowns and passed for two more in Saturday’s 70-28 win over Richwoods.
“I’m going to score either way but I like to pass it,” he said with a grin.
Beckum says he’s getting better by watching game tape of former Peoria High star, Coran Taylor, who’s now a quarterback at the University of Illinois.
“I’m still learning from Coran now. I still watch watch his film. I feel like I have my own type of game style,” Beckum said. “I watch his film. We have similar technique.”
Beckum is lefthanded and Taylor righthanded, but their bodies are similar.
“I think he may be a little bigger than Coran,” Peoria High coach Tim Thornton said of Beckum. “He’s got a big strong arm and he gets downhill in a burry. He’s a big play threat all the time.”