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Recruiting Spotlight: Banks County's Justin Beasley

POSTED: July 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.
For the Times/

Banks County running back Justin Beasley

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Banks County football coach Blair Armstrong didn’t know what kind of running back he had in Justin Beasley when he took the job in 2007, but it didn’t take him long to find out.

Only five minutes into his first practice with the Leopards, Beasley, then a junior, took a pass out of the backfield, cut, and made the pursuing defender come up completely empty handed.

"After that, I knew we had a really good running back," Armstrong said.

Armstrong, the former Johnson High football coach, has nothing but compliments for the staple of the Banks County running game. Last season, Beasley showed his versatility running and catching the ball with 1,659 rushing yards, 235 yards receiving and 21 total touchdowns. He was a Times 2007 First Team All Area selection.

"I feel like I do my best when I get the ball in space, but I also do fairly well running between the tackles," Beasley said.

Now a rising senior, Beasley is on the recruiting radar with schools like Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State and Ole Miss leading the way for his services. Banks County’s coach says the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Beasley has been timed at an official 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

"Justin is an elusive runner and a natural cutter, like the Barry Sanders and Warrick Dunn type, but he isn’t afraid to run into you," Armstrong said. "He’s also got great hands, which is a great tool to have, that not every good running back has."

Armstrong said what sets Beasley apart from other good football players is his personality. He said that the Leopards running back is a great team leader with his complementing approach to get the best out of his teammates. Beasley says that he’s learned from his father, Roger Gaither, the assistant pastor at Homer’s Mill Grove Baptist to always be humble and remember that all his physical talent is a gift from God.

"Everyone loves Justin," Armstrong said. "He’s such an unselfish kid, which is a little unusual for a player of his talent level."

"My father is more concerned with school and making sure I make good grades," Beasley said. "He just tells me to remember where I got my talent from."

Armstrong said that Beasley never puts himself above the guys that protect him on the offensive line. Banks County’s coach said while eating dinner at a Mexican restaurant last Saturday night in Homer, he noticed a group of about eight lineman from his team eating. He said right in the middle of the group was his soft-spoken running back, who was totally blended in with the group.

"I really like to hang out with my teammates," Beasley said. "It’s important for me to be a team player."

Beasley, who also plays basketball and runs track at Banks County, has already taken in camps this summer at Western Kentucky and MTSU to scope out the campus and get a feel for the program. He plans on playing his senior season and seeing what scholarship offers are available.



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