The Washington Post

Episcopal RB Nigel Beckford is area’s unlikely rushing leader

Never heard of Episcopal running back Nigel Beckford?

Well, that’s partially our fault. A technical glitch kept Beckford’s name out of the list of the week’s leading rushers Tuesday, which is funny because Beckford is the leading rusher in terms of touchdowns scored in the D.C. area right now.

Beckford, a 5-9, 195-pound senior, has rushed for 639 yards and 10 touchdowns in two games this season. His scoring total leads the region, and his 639 yards are third behind Tuscarora’s Noah Reimers and North Point’s Marquel Dickerson. Reimers has played four games, Dickerson three.

“I felt good coming into the games. I mean, I know the stats were okay, but the whole team’s been working hard,” Beckford said. “Something good was bound to happen.”

Beckford transferred to Episcopal after two seasons as the starting running back at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, Conn. While there, he garnered significant interest from the Connecticut, a school that’s kept an eye on the Bridgeport, Conn. native when he made the move from Southern Connecticut to Northern Virginia.

Beckford hit the camp circuit hard this summer, and has generated interest from several schools, especially in the Northeast. According Maroon Coach Panos Voulgaris, Boston College, U-Conn. and others are waiting to see how this year’s film looks before deciding whether or not to offer the bruising back.

“Personally, I think [the pressure of not having an offer yet] helps,” Beckford said. “You know what you have to do and what you have to accomplish. And you know what kind of work you have to do to get there.”

Beckford also understands “getting there” requires a lot of help from the big guys up front.

“I think [our offensive line] is great.They like their position, they want to play there, they want to block, so that’s always a help when you have guys in front of you that want to play and want to help you,” Beckford said. “I think that makes me a better runner because they depend on me and I depend on them.”

Beckford’s next test will come from the Collegiate School in Richmond, a team that’s currently 3-0 and beat Flint Hill 30-7. Beckford’s Maroon beat Flint Hill 48-28 two weeks ago in a game that saw him score five touchdowns on 310 yards rushing.

“I think he’s the best running back in the D.C. area. If not the best, he’s definitely in the top three or four,” Voulgaris said. “I hope he and the offensive line can continue to play well and keep it going.”

NUMBER CRUNCH: 50 and 3,195

The number of touchdowns and yards Beckford is on pace to tally by season’s end. The area’s leading rusher by touchdowns and yardage last year, Robinson’s Joe Wilson, ran for 32 touchdowns on 2,358 yards.


– Episcopal’s opponent last week, Bishop Ireton, honored the victims of the Navy Yard shooting, a tragedy that hit close to home for the Cardinals’ coach.

– In a matchup of top five boys’ soccer teams, No. 1 Marriotts Ridge pulled off a stunning comeback to beat No. 3 Reservoir.

– Another of the area’s best running backs, Woodgrove’s Josh Sweet, recently committed to Cornell.


In case you missed them (or even if you didn’t), check out the top plays from last weekend in D.C. area football:

Host B.J. Koubaroulis runs through the top plays from the weekend of football in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

Chelsea Janes covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.



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