BATON ROUGE - LSU's entire 2008 senior class in football can say they have a college degree, and a national title, as former linebacker Darry Beckwith graduated on Friday to become the 19th and final member of that group to earn his diploma from LSU.
When told of what his graduating meant for the class of 2008, Beckwith responded by saying, "that's awesome. I had no idea, but it's a tribute to Coach Miles and his staff and the emphasis that is put on getting an education at LSU."
Beckwith, who started at linebacker on LSU's national championship team in 2007, spent two seasons (2009 and 2010) in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers before returning to Baton Rouge to finish his degree requirements last year. Beckwith graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary studies with emphasis of sports management and history.
Beckwith's degree came nearly four years after his played his final down of football for the Tigers, but it's something that he always knew he wanted to do and that's return to campus to finish what he started.
"It took a big effort but it was something that I always wanted to do," Beckwith said. "When I came to LSU I wanted to get my degree and succeed on the football field, but getting an education was always a priority because of the emphasis that Coach Miles puts on it."
Beckwith, at Baton Rouge native who prepped at Parkview Baptist, joins the following members of the class of 2008 at LSU, who also became an elite group that left school with both a degree and a national title: Tyson Jackson, Herman Johnson, Brett Helms, Curtis Taylor, Kirston Pittman, Ryan Miller, Tremaine Johnson, Quinn Johnson, Colt David, Marlon Favorite, Demetrius Byrd, Charles Alexander, Brady Dalfrey, Phillip Pigott, Chad Moody, Donald Hains, Josh Graham and Caleb Angelle.
"That's great news," Miles said of Beckwith's graduating and the significance that came with it. "Our mission and goal as a program is for our players to get a great education and play for championships. That 2008 team did just that as they won a national title in 2007 and then they all graduated. I'm very proud of that group, but also very fortunate to have coached those guys."