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WMU Football Gets Verbal Commitment From Speedy Ottawa Hills Athlete Sam Beal

by Matt Buck

WMU football's 2015 recruiting class is a little faster than it was 24 hours ago.

The Broncos received a solid verbal commitment from Ottawa Hills athlete Sam Beal on Tuesday, giving WMU its 20th addition to the 2015 recruiting class.

Beal is a 6'2", 177 lb. senior who was one of the state's top sprinters along with his All-Conference honors in football last year.

Beal said he didn't expect to receive an offer so quickly after attending camp at WMU.

"You know, I actually did not expect an offer from them so early," he said. "I'm sure they didn't think they were going to give me an offer so early, either."

Beal has flown under the radar as a recruit, going mostly unranked on the popular recruiting trackers. Beal said he was just happy to accomplish one of his goals.

"I was very excited," he said. "I know that I have accomplished one of my goals and WMU helped me do that."

Beal said much of the appeal at Western Michigan came from the way he was treated by the staff.

"Their campus was great and the football players' privacy when needed was great," he said. "The coaches actually shook my hand and talked to me. They respected me as an athlete, not just another kid that plays football."

Since Beal is an athlete, he is not sure where he is going to be played on WMU's roster. He said he'd like to be very involved.

"If I had a choice, I would play both sides of the ball," he said. "But it's not up to me."

Beal said a lot of what pushed him to commit was the vision head coach P.J. Fleck has for the program.

"They made you feel like you were already a part of the program, and that was just in camp," he said. "You can tell they are looking to do something great with WMU and I want to be a part of what they're creating."

While some would say speed is arguably the strongest part of his game on the field, Beal has a different take.

"The strongest part of my game is being able to spark fire out of just pure intensity," he said.

In his senior season at Ottawa Hills, Beal said he has a simple goal: win.

"I plan on taking my team to the state championship," he said.

Although Beal wants to develop many of the tangible factors of his game, the biggest improvement he'd like to make is to become more vocal.

"I want to improve on being more verbal on and off the field," he said. "What I mean by that is acting like the captain I am and leading my teammates into battle."