John is one of
the three children of Wendell and Julie Beck. Wendell ran track at BYU. Many
were the Decembers that the Becks road-tripped from their home in Mesa, Ariz.
(where John would star at quarterback for Mountain View High) to San Diego to
see the Cougars play in the Holiday Bowl. John has a picture of himself as a
10-year-old posing with Ty Detmer. Winning the quarterback's job at BYU was his
But there was
nothing dreamy about that debut against Georgia Tech, about suffering a
concussion against USC in his next game, about throwing two interceptions in
his first start, an 18--14 loss to Stanford. While he came into this season
with 7,136 career passing yards and is likely to finish as BYU's second-most
prolific passer, behind Detmer, Beck is the first to admit that he has come up
short in the W's department.
That's no one
person's fault. BYU hasn't had a winning season since 2001. Mendenhall, Beck's
third head coach, makes the point that when things on the field have been at
their stormiest, "John's steadiness, his passion for BYU, has been a
beacon." Mendenhall likes the way Beck doesn't let what happens on the
field affect his self-image. Says the coach, "He knows what he's capable
played in only 25 games, Garrett Wolfe is comfortably ahead of other active
Division I-A ballcarriers in career rushing.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]