Quick Chat: Robert Beal Jr.
Through John frierson
Robert Beal Jr. don’t spend a lot of time watching contact sports on TV. Georgia’s 6-foot-4, 255-pound outside linebacker would rather watch bowling or tennis, he said in a quick chat this week.
A senior from Peachtree Ridge, Ga., Beal got into football, he said, because he was too physical for basketball when he was in fifth grade. It’s a transition that has worked well for him. Beal has seven tackles, including one sack, and seven quarterbacks rushed through four games this season. In Vanderbilt’s 62-0 shutout last Saturday, he made three solo saves, one 10-yard sack and two QB rushes,
During our Quick Chat, Beal spoke about his early days in football, disliking being touched, his love of bowling and more. Here is some of what he had to say:
Frierson: What memories do you have of your beginnings in football? We can’t wait to play or did you fall into it?
Béal: Really, I started playing basketball until the fifth grade of elementary school. When the sixth year came, I made a big mistake. I was a very physical guy so I made a mistake, and my best friend’s mom said I should play soccer, so I played soccer that year. I didn’t know what I was doing but I did a lot of plays and fell in love with them.
Frierson: Have you played everywhere on the pitch, in attack and defense?
Béal: When I was on offense I was playing left tackle but I was a real physical guy so they stuck me in defense and that’s where I’ve been ever since.
Frierson: Have you ever dreamed of offensive glory?
Béal: I used to, I used to do it, but I would say that in eighth grade, playing for Central Dekalb, I was so touched when I was playing tight end that I quit playing for Central Dekalb. ‘attack and I stayed in defense.
Frierson: Better to deliver than to receive?
Frierson: Did you continue to play basketball throughout high school?
Béal: No, just until the fifth year.
Frierson: I bet your high school basketball coach would have liked you to be on the team.
Béal: Every year. Every year.
Frierson: What could you eat every day and never get bored of it?
Béal: Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings. The place doesn’t really matter as long as it comes to lemon pepper. I like these things.
Frierson: How are you in the kitchen, can you cook?
Béal: I don’t really know how to cook, I won’t lie to you. I don’t really know how to cook.
Frierson: Who is the funniest guy on the team? Many of your teammates say it’s Jordan davis but I wonder if you have anybody else in mind.
Béal: I’ll have to go with JD. He’s hilarious. He’s hilarious every day, inside and out.
Frierson: Is he funny during games?
Béal: Yes. If you watch him at the game, you’ll see him dancing on the sidelines. He’s just a really funny guy, a real lively guy.
Frierson: How much value does it have over a long season when you’re doing the job that you are?
Béal: Dude, this is precious. It could be a hard day and then you will see JD laughing, smiling, making jokes, and it will make you realize it’s not that bad. If he’s out there laughing and smiling, so can I.
Frierson: Can you sing With your voice, I guess you could make a pretty good impression of Barry White.
Béal: [Laughs] I can sing a little. I’m more of a sports guy, however.
Frierson: What kind of sport do you like to watch on TV?
Béal: It might surprise you, but I’ll watch bowling a lot because I’m really good at it, and then I’ll watch tennis, Serena Williams and people like that.
Frierson: Have you been bowling all your life?
Béal: This is something my dad and I have been doing for a long time. My dad taught me how to bowling and we’ve been doing it since I was 11 or 12 years old.
Frierson: Who on the team will you be bowling with?
Béal: I will go with Nakobe Dean, Dock walker, Trezmen Marshall and Adam anderson. These are the guys I know who are pretty decent.
Frierson: If you could play another sport for Georgia, what would it be?
Béal: I would probably do track and field, shot put and discus.
Frierson: If you could travel anywhere in the world for someone else’s pennies, where would you go and who would you take with you?
Béal: I would probably go to Brazil and take my girlfriend with me. Brazil is a place that I have always wanted to go to see.
Frierson: When did you know you were good at soccer? When did you know you had a future beyond just being a good player in high school?
Béal: It was probably in 10th grade. I was not the guy but I would go in and do plays like now. I would go there every now and then and I was like, if I could get more shots then I might be the man. After that, I knew I could do something serious with it.
(This Q&A has been edited slightly for length and clarity.)
Deputy Director of Sports Communication John frierson is the Editor-in-Chief of the UGA Athletic Association and Curator of the ITA Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame. You can find his work at: Frierson Files. He’s also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.