When RaeQuan Beal began his football career for the Eastside Raiders as a youngster in Detroit, Michigan, he always knew he wanted to do things his way. The three-star quarterback had a decorated career at Renaissance High School, and he became a hot name on the camp circuit throughout his high school career. Now, Beal is set to start his college football career at Morgan State University in just a few weeks.
Unlike most recruits in Beal’s position, he chose a university that was an ideal fit for him as a student-athlete and as a young Black male. Beal fielded offers from nearly every school in the MAC. He also garnered interest from Big Ten schools Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue. After a strong showing at the Nike Opening and a standout senior season, it was expected that he would sign to play football at one of the bigger schools in the Midwest. Things didn’t go as expected, and he’s charting his path just as he planned.
“Morgan State was the perfect opportunity I was waiting on, that’s why I didn’t commit early,” Beal said. “The campus is full of life and the coaches are there to build us as men. I can see myself living in Baltimore after my college career.”
Beal is mature beyond his years and he knows that his choice to attend Morgan State is a 40-year decision rather than a four-year decision. He knows that taking this path took a lot of courage, but he is looking at things from all angles. Before deciding where he wanted to go to school, he knew that it would impact the rest of his life. He understood that what he did was a lot bigger than just throwing a football.
“Morgan has a great Sports Management program, so I decided that’s what I want to study. Believe it or not, academics had a lot to do with my decision,” he said. “The NFL is not promised to anyone, so I’m in a great position to use my skills on the field to get a free education. My dream is to go to the NFL, but I will be working as hard on both the field and the classroom. It’s the best of both worlds, to be honest. I get to do what I love to do in playing football, and I’m also setting myself up to have a bright future with limitless opportunities.”
Like most teenagers in Beal’s position, picking a school is a very stressful process. He noted that he was able to lean on his family for guidance throughout the process.
“My family influenced me to go to Morgan State. My Grandad is a huge Michigan fan and he rooted for Tyrone Wheatley (head coach) when he played there, so that was the icing on the cake,” Beal said. “When he visited my house, it showed me how much my family liked him as a man and a coach.”
Although he leaned on his family for guidance, he knew he wanted to become a trendsetter. Despite standing at a towering 6-foot-5 tall and just south of 230 pounds, he has a quiet confidence about him.
He knew if he decided to go to an HBCU, it could open the eyes of recruits in his hometown of Detroit and surrounding areas. While he’s not the first to go to an HBCU from the Detroit area, he’s one of the most notable recruits to do so.
“I think with me and fellow Detroit native DeAndre (Bulley) going to Morgan State, and being two of the highest-ranked recruits to go to an HBCU, it’s a start to something,” he said. “When we have the careers that I know we’re going to have, everyone will see why we decided to go this route. Not to be arrogant, but I can sense a takeover coming. I know we’re going to have the whole conference on fire and that will not only be a good look for Morgan State, but the other schools in the conference as well.”
Columbus, Ohio born. Ron is a first-ballot healthy hairline hall of famer. He spent the summer of ‘08 eating calamari pasta because of OJ Da Juiceman. He also loves to write about sports while listening to Sada Baby. Follow him on Twitter @Ron_Hamp