Over the past decade, Central Michigan has built up a reputation for developing outstanding lineman. Eric Fisher was the first overall draft pick in the 2013 Draft. Joe Staley has been a Pro Bowl offensive tackle for the past several years as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
While Nick Beamish is still two seasons away from following the NFL path blazed by his predecessors, he enters 2014 as one of the most formidable members of a veteran CMU offensive line.
Beamish joined the Chippewas in 2011 as a two-star prospect out of Wyandotte, Michigan. Redshirting his first year, Beamish has started every game for the Chippewas since the beginning of the 2012 season. After his first season as a starter, he was recognized as the CMU Offensive Rookie of the Year during the team's annual awards, an especially impressive feat considering the emergences of Andrew Flory and Saylor Lavallii during the same season.
Beamish once again started every game for the Chippewas during the 2013 season as one of the few to avoid the injuries that plagued the team throughout the season. After a successful 2013 campaign, he was named to the second team All-MAC squad.
Beamish has been under center for four different CMU quarterbacks during his two years starting at center. His seamless transition into the starting role helped Ryan Radcliff have one of the best statistical seasons for a CMU quarterback in 2012. In 2013, Beamish's veteran presence played a vital part in allowing a young Cooper Rush to gain security after Rush was thrust into the starting role early last season.
As his performance gained polish and his consistency was noted, Beamish has earned recognition and increased expectations. He was recently named to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, awarded annually to the best center in college football. Beamish is one of two CMU offensive lineman to be listed as a second team All-MAC Center by Phil Steele; the other is offensive guard Andy Phillips.
With still two years left of college eligibility, Beamish's prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft have yet to be fully evaluated, but precedent says that an NFL career may be in his future. Fisher finished his junior season as only a third team All-MAC player, and Beamish has so far avoided the injuries that have plagued many of his teammates in the past, including recent CMU offensive line graduate Jake Olson.
Whether Beamish contends for the Rimington Trophy the entire season is to be determined, but his presence on the CMU offensive line will be vital for the unit to be successful this season.