Bequette Goes Whole Hog with Bears

Bequette Goes Whole Hog with Bears

Luc Bequette has a family athletic pedigree that'll blow you away, including NFL and Olympic credentials.

Luc Bequette is a sports junkie. He’s played varsity baseball, wrestled as a varsity heavyweight, played basketball through eighth grade, did track and field his sophomore year and plays both offensive and defensive line. Sports – especially football – are in his blood, and on Sunday – just before California is set to start fall camp – he committed to the Golden Bears.

“They’re a BCS school, it’s a great education, and I wanted to grab a spot before it was too late,” Bequette said. “I didn’t want to wait and see any more offers. I wanted to make sure I had a spot, and hop on the train.

“I got a lot of feedback from family,” said Bequette, who has quite the pedigree. Bequette’s mother won a bronze medal in figure skating at the 1988 Winter Olympics (“I can skate backwards, but she didn’t pass along any of those genes to me,” Bequette chuckled), and Bequette’s father (Chris), grandfather (George), uncle (Jay) and cousin (Jake, who now plays for the New England Patriots) all played football for Arkansas.

“My uncle played a big part, because he’d been through [recruiting] with my cousin, going to Arkansas, and he said that it’s better to commit early, so you make sure you have a spot, instead of waiting for whatever, and trying to commit later, when they’ve already found other guys,” Bequette said.

After camping with the Razorbacks, though, they didn’t come through with an offer, and, as the saying goes, ‘Go where they love you, not where they like you.’

“They kind of said that they’ve got some other guys that they want to look at, and they had a center that’s committed, who’s kind of a shorter guy, and they didn’t really want to take two short guys,” said the 6-foot-2, 285-pound Bequette.

Cal, however, wanted Bequette as a defensive lineman, after seeing him perform at the Bears’ three-day camp in late June.

“Coach [Art] Kaufman came out to our spring practice, and was under the impression that I was going to be an offensive lineman,” Bequette said. “That was his first take, when he saw me, but when he saw me move around, and thought I moved pretty well and looked pretty athletic, so he thought, ‘Maybe he is a D-lineman,’ and got me out to camp.”

Bequette worked both ways – mainly with the offensive line (“That’s where I thought they were looking at me,” Bequette said) and after working half of the second day of camp on the offensive line, he worked briefly with defensive line coach Fred Tate, who gave his stamp of approval.

“He called me in his office and offered me as a D-lineman,” said Bequette, who familiarized himself with the campus while being taken around by one of the graduate assistants. “I didn’t really work out with [Tate] for that long, but they saw me move around and offered me as a D-lineman. I think, kind of the way it’ll work, is, for whatever reason, defensive line doesn’t work out, I can always go to the O-line, too, so it helps to go both ways, too.”

Kaufman came upon Bequette because he is one of Bequette’s father’s clients. Chris Bequette is a financial advisor, working almost exclusively with college coaches. It was a boon for Luc, who will have gone to three high schools in his career (two in Champaign, Ill., and Little Rock Catholic, this coming year), and has spent his life living for several years each in California, Arkansas and Illinois.

Stay tuned for more from Bequette, after our half-hour conversation.

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