North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Van Beek signs letter of intent


February 14, 2018 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Arlington High School student Michael Van Beek, center, along with mother Tracy and father Tom, celebrate after Michael signs his letter of intent to play football for Washington State University on Feb. 7.

Arlington High School senior Michael Van Beek has committed to playing football for Washington State University next year as a preferred walk-on.

Michael signed his letter of intent in front of family and friends on Feb. 7.

A preferred walk-on "is an offer with no pay. So I am on the team just like everybody else, they just don't give me a check to pay for the tuition. It's everything but the tuition," said Michael.

"They said I had a chance to earn a scholarship in the future as well," he said.

For Michael, playing football at a top-tier school has always been something he has wanted.

"I've always dreamt of going and playing in Division I football," he said.

"He's faced injury and other issues that have caused heartache, but he told me at six years old that he had a dream to play college football," said Michael's mother, Tracy Van Beek.

"He's set goals and whenever there was something or an obstacle in his way he did everything he could and worked hard to be here today," she said.

Michael said that it's a relief just to know where he is going now.

"The past year and a half, two years, of recruiting have just been an up and down roller coaster,"

"One moment it's like 'oh, this school is really interested in you,' and then all of a sudden they say 'well, we're not interested in you anymore,'" he said.

"It feels nice that its over and I know where I'm going now," he said.

Although Michael was a University of Washington fan growing up, he decided on WSU because he prefers Pullman over Seattle.

He was invited to a game at WSU and enjoyed the atmosphere there, he said.

"As I grew up and got wiser I was like, 'you know, I really don't like the city,'" he said. "I'm going to go somewhere I feel like I don't have to adjust to."

Although Michael played offensive line at Arlington High School, WSU officials are looking at him as a potential defensive linemen.

"They said, looking over the film, that I looked more like a defensive linemen in their scheme," said Michael.

Special teams is likely a possibility as well.

"One of the first ways to get on the team is special teams, so I'll likely see some special teams in the future," he said.

One of Michael's best memories at AHS was actually a special teams play during the Stilly Cup.

"It was a nail-biter at the end and it came down to the last three seconds and that blocked field goal [that Michael made] at the end was really good," he said.

He said he will miss the smaller nature of playing in Arlington. "That small-town, small-team camaraderie."

"There's more time in the summer that we're hanging out in these tiny units," he said. "It's just me and a couple of the guys."

He plans to major in business and will be starting school in the summer.

"I'll be in Pullman about two months before fall camp begins," he said, where he will be participating in out-of-season trainings as well.


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