Remembering Bryce Beekman

Then-redshirt+junior+safety+Bryce+Beekman+stands+ready+on+the+field+during+the+game+against+UNC+on+Sept.+7+at+Martin+Stadium.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Then-redshirt junior safety Bryce Beekman stands ready on the field during the game against UNC on Sept. 7 at Martin Stadium.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen sports columnist

Gone too soon.

That is the overwhelming feeling in the WSU community following the unfortunate and disheartening news of Bryce Beekman’s passing.

Beekman’s Cougar career was just getting started. He was going into his last season of college football and second season in Pullman.

It is important to look back on his life and short time at WSU and remember all he accomplished in his career.

Start in JUCO

Beekman was named to the Louisiana All-State team as a safety with 51 tackles, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles as a senior in high school, according to the WSU athletics website. After graduation, he went the junior college route, attending Arizona Western Junior College in Yuma, Arizona.

He made the most of his two years as a Matador, including a very productive freshman season. He was named an honorable mention for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American team and made the Western States Football League (WSFL) first team, according to the WSU athletics website.

Beekman led the team, and finished third in the NJCAA, in interceptions with seven, returning one of them for a touchdown in the first game of his career.

His best game came against Pima Community College where he grabbed a career-best three interceptions in one game. 

He followed up his stand-out freshman year with a solid sophomore season, earning him a three-star ranking from multiple recruiting websites.

He added three more interceptions, including another pick-six, to bring his career total up to 10. He also recorded career-bests in tackles with 41, tackles for loss with five and forced fumbles with two. Beekman once again was named to the WSFL first team.

Becoming a Cougar

Beekman held 10 offers, including WSU, coming off of his sophomore season at Arizona Western Junior College. His other offers included Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, Syracuse University, the University of Hawai’i and Rutgers University, according to 247Sports.

He was rated the 69th-best junior college prospect overall and the seventh-best junior college safety prospect.

Beekman visited Pullman in October of 2018 and announced he was going to become a Cougar just a month later.

“Verbally committed to Washington State! All glory to God! #GoCougs #JoinTheHunt,” he tweeted on Nov. 20, 2018.

Beekman was the third-highest graded recruit the Cougars secured that year, helping them achieve the 66th-best recruiting class nationally, according to 247Sports.

Career as Coug

Just like his time in junior college, Beekman made an immediate impact at WSU. He started all 13 games for the Cougars at safety and was one of the best defenders on the team.

In his first four games of his Cougar career, Beekman racked up 28 tackles, including back-to-back 10 tackle games against the University of Houston and UCLA. He also recorded a forced fumble in the game against Houston and earned WSU defensive player of the week.

He would go on to finish fourth on the team with 37 solo tackles and fifth on the team with 60 total tackles. Beekman was one of only six Cougars to grab an interception, picking off Oregon State University quarterback Jake Luton in the first quarter of the matchup for his first career interception.

Beekman returned for his redshirt-senior season at WSU and, despite the head coaching change, was set to start at safety again. 

His running mate in the defensive backfield, redshirt-senior safety Skyler Thomas, was one of the first WSU players to react on Twitter.

“Took a piece of my heart with this one. Let them dreads shake in heaven. Love you Brudda RIP,” he tweeted Tuesday morning.