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BYU football: Former star John Beck impresses new Canadian team at mini-camp

Washington Redskins quarterback John Beck.
Photo by Patrick McDermott

While one projected starter at quarterback was labeled a no-show after skipping the opening of mini-camp for the B.C. Lions in Canadian football this week, former BYU star John Beck continues to impress the locals up north as his pro football career is set to resume after a two-year hiatus.

With Lions starter Travis Lulay shelved due to injury -- and his backup Steven Jyles opting to stay home instead of participating in mini-camp for financial reasons -- the door has opened for Beck to grab playing time for his new team in Canada.

Beck said he is optimistic about playing professional football again in a story on Wednesday, April 30 that also talks about his love for hunting. More important, Beck has “risen to considerable importance through two practice days” for his new team. Above all, he’s trying to keep perspective at the age of 33 in a game that favors youth.

“I’m trying not to have the worldliness. Somebody of the world might be frustrated they’re not still in the NFL. I gave it the very best I could. I have a healthy body and want to keep playing,” Beck said in an interview Wednesday with the Province, a Canadian newspaper.

Sure, the CFL isn’t anything close to the NFL -- but it has worked out okay for Max Hall, another former BYU signal caller. He played in Winnipeg last year for the Blue Bombers and threw for about 2,000 yards. And while it’s been three years -- or 2011 -- since Beck has even played a down of professional football he’s also healthy and ready to go in B.C.

Beck has thrown for more than 1,300 yards in his NFL career, with three touchdown passes and seven interceptions in four seasons of play. This year alone could see Beck surpass all of those totals in Canada, the place where NFL quarterbacks often end up when their pro careers are coming to a close.

In a strange twist of fate, this place up north sometimes resurrects careers -- even ones that many believed were long gone like Beck’s and Hall’s. It’s also a place where certain unknowns can become legends against all odds.