Ryan Becker thrives on doubt. That’s part of being a Mustang.
After four years of playing tight end for Southern Methodist University, the 2016 graduate of Marble Falls High School will enter the 2020 NFL Draft. He is projected to go in the seventh and final round or as an undrafted or priority free agent during the April 23-25 event.
“I just need my chance,” he said. “I need somebody to take a chance on me.”
Becker is in the process of selecting an agent but has leaned on the advice of those close to him to prepare for the next level. One of those supporters is Minnesota Vikings tight end David Morgan, a 2011 Marble Falls High School graduate.
Morgan and Becker, who talked during the Christmas holidays, are longtime friends.
“He said, ‘Be who you are, enjoy it. It’s fun. Know where you’re from. Don’t change,’” Becker said.
Even as a 6-foot-5-inch first team all-district player in high school, he did not receive a lot of attention from colleges because the Marble Falls program was not as successful as others.
In high school, Becker played left tackle, but SMU used him as blocking tight end. In his college career, he caught 16 passes for 198 yards and five touchdowns.
He said it was challenging to learn a new position in college, but “it’s still football.”
The SMU football team was overlooked this past season. In July, many experts picked the Mustangs to finish 11th in the American Athletic Conference, Becker said.
However, SMU went 10-3 overall, losing 52-28 to Florida Atlantic in the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl on December 21.
“We knew we were good,” Becker said. “Everybody knew (the predictions) weren’t right. We knew we had players and coaches. It was a belief that we were much better than people thought we were going to be.”
Becker believes he made the right decision to play for SMU, even if the coach for whom he signed to play, Chad Morris, left for the University of Arkansas in 2018.
Still, his replacement turned out to be a great one. Sonny Dykes is the son of former Texas Tech University head coach and former Horseshoe Bay resident Spike Dykes.
Becker appreciates Dykes’ authenticity.
“I tell our recruits (Dykes) is the same person all the time. He doesn’t change,” Becker said. “You’re not just a player and a piece of meat. I loved playing for him.”
The son of Tracey and Mark Becker graduated from SMU in December with a degree in sports management.
No matter where he ends up, Becker said he is proud to be from Marble Falls.
“I learned so much there, just growing up there,” he said. “Everybody has had a hand in helping me.”