UNIVERSITY PARK - SMU offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum certainly has the size to play professional football. When he arrived in University Park, Beachum weighed 250 pounds. Now, he checks in at about 304 pounds.
He wants to play professional football, but if that doesn't work out, he will always have his education to fall back on.
"I've already graduated with my undergrad in economics, minor in sports management, and I'll be done with my masters this May in organizational dynamics," Beachum said.
He was invited to attend this year’s NFL combine in Indianapolis, which begins on Wednesday. As a left tackle, he helped SMU's passing offense reach the top 25 in the nation.
"He can pass block," said SMU Head Coach June Jones. "If you can pass block, you can play in the National Football League, and he's a pass protector. He'll learn how to run block as he goes. He's going to be a make-it guy."
Jones said he thinks NFL coaches will look to convert Beachum to offensive guard, as they generally favor taller offensive tackles. His coach's background gives the offensive lineman confidence he can succeed at the next level.
"The offense that coach Jones has run here, the reputation that he has, being a four-year starter here, the ability to start and be healthy, I think is a good thing for a lot of NFL teams," Beachum said. "I think they saw that as a plus, and like I said, it gave me an opportunity. That's all I needed is an opportunity."
Beachum has used his opportunity at SMU to do more than just play football. He was president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) the last two years and a national representative for the school.
In 2010, he was selected as one of 10 SMU students honored for inspiring others.
"Just dealing with a lot of student athlete affairs, dealing also with of campus affairs, trying to get more athletes involved in things around campus to show that when people think about just dumb jocks, we have some substance," Beachum said. "We do things outside of football. Whether it's in the community, helping homeless, helping charities - we're willing to do that, and that starts with the initiative of SAAC."
Beachum is one of 50 offensive linemen, two from SMU, who were invited to the NFL combine.
The last three players who received invitations from SMU all ended up signing NFL contracts.