The Other Beck - Y Magazine
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BYU Today

The Other Beck

As he walks away from his senior season, it’s easy to see Jason Beck has gained major ground.

Jason BeckWhere was J. Beck in the last monumental seconds of the University of Utah football game last fall?

On the sidelines, of course, screaming to the other J. Beck at the top of his lungs.

“I’m reading the play just as John’s reading it,” recounts Jason M. Beck (BA ’06)—BYU’s other 6-foot-2-inch, 200-plus pound quarterback last fall. “Utah drops nine guys, and there’s nobody open. I’m yelling out to John who I think is open—not that he can hear me—and he takes off running right, throws back left, and . . .”

It was the pinnacle moment in both Becks’ BYU football careers.

Jason may not have played a single minute in that game, but there’s nothing sweeter than beating your rival on their home field, just as time runs out.

“That’s as good as it gets right there,” Jason says.

Five games, 537 yards, and one touchdown pass—that’s as good as it got for Jason out on the field in his three years at BYU. And that’s just fine.

“The way I figure,” Jason says in his casual manner, “you do the things you can do, live the way you’re supposed to live, and then let everything else work itself out.”

That’s been his game plan since he arrived at BYU, a junior college transfer from the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif. In two years of consecutive, post-mission play, Jason had built an impressive résumé, leading the Canyons’ Cougars—yes, Cougars—to a No. 4 national ranking and snagging the title of Academic All-American along the way.

At BYU, however, he faced even tougher competition, but it didn’t crush his excitement. Neither did sharing a surname with the starter.

“It wasn’t a big deal until we had to figure out uniforms,” Jason says. His and John’s jerseys, labeled Ja. Beck and Jo. Beck respectively, earned him all sorts of nicknames. Ja. Beck, Beck II, Beck-right-back-at-ya.

What set them apart were their distinctive styles of play. Though he was an accurate passer, Jason relied more on his ability to create plays with his legs than John, says Brandon G. Doman (BS ’02), BYU’s quarterback coach.

Off the field, the Becks’ personalities diverge a bit, too. Jason considers himself laid back, while John, he says, is, “well, what’s the opposite of that?”

Despite differences, the two remain close friends and often double-date with their wives.

Jason’s wife, Jaime Rendich Beck (’07), is also a BYU athlete—a former All-American member of the BYU women’s soccer team.

“She’s the more talented one in the family,” Jason asserts. Meeting Jaime was another perk in his transfer to BYU. Her mom, the athletic secretary at his former junior college, told him to look up Jaime when he got here.

“It couldn’t have gone any better,” Jason says. He uses the same words to describe starting the Utah State game last fall—his first significant playing time on home turf. John was out with an injured ankle, and Jason had his moment to shine.

Against the in-state rival, in front of a packed LaVell Edwards Stadium, Jason threw for 305 yards, including one touchdown, and rushed for 18 in the 38-0 shut out.

“Only a few people have the opportunity to start as a BYU quarterback in their lifetime,” says Jason, reflecting on his role in John Beck’s shadow.

The way Doman sees it, there was no shadow at all.

“Although Jason didn’t play as much as John, he was every bit as important to our team. We could have won the championship with him as our quarterback,” he says.

Doman loses both Becks this year, but Jason will still be on campus finishing his mass communications master’s. Hired as next year’s offensive staff intern, he will continue helping the team and hopes to someday coach his own college football team—maybe even at BYU.

“I love BYU,” Jason says. “It gives you every opportunity and reason to be the person you should be.”

In someone’s shadow or not.