Travis: It’s just something I’ve done since I was a little boy. Just being able to watch it on TV inspired me to play. I used to always play when I was a little boy with the older guys.
You started your career as primarily a defensive player. How did you get involved in playing tight end?
Travis: It was the end of my freshman year of college at Wisconsin. It was actually midseason and I said something to my coach about playing tight end. He said we’d talk about it after the season. My sophomore year I moved to tight end and I fell in love with it ever since.
At last year’s NFL Combine, you did an unprecedented 28 reps on the bench-press. How do you have such a strong chest? What kinds of workouts do you do for your chest?
Travis: I just think that bench-press was always one of my favorite lifts. Once you have something that’s your favorite you tend to do it more often. That’s something I have done since I was in high school, primarily my sophomore year of high school. I have done other stuff such as working out my back to help my chest even out and I went from there.
As a tight end, what kinds of training do you focus on?
Travis: I think that as far as with the New York Giants, it’s pretty much the same stuff with what a linebacker or a fullback does. A lot of people do the same stuff except quarterback.
What was your single best moment as a football player?
Travis: I have several. But probably my sophomore year at high school I played Janesville-Parker and I played tight end. In high school, I probably played tight end about 5 times. I had a big catch to help us beat a team by one point in the last couple seconds. I had a real big catch to put us in a position to score and that was probably my favorite moment.
What’s life like in New York compared to living in Wisconsin most of your life?
Travis: It’s more expensive. There are people everywhere. Everyone is a different nationality. Taxes are higher. Everything in general is a lot higher than it is in Wisconsin.
What’s your favorite thing about New York?
Travis: The fans. It could go either way. Sometimes they are all for it. Sometimes when you lose and have a bad game they can kind of turn on you. That’s probably the best thing, that and the environment.
If you could give any advice to an aspiring college football player, what would it be?
Travis: Live your dream and know that everything is a blessing that you have. It’s hard work to get where you’re at but it’s a blessing. Not everyone has a position to play in the NFL or college even. A lot of times players go into college and think they’ll make it in the NFL but it’s a slim possibility that you’ll actually go to the NFL. There’s millions and millions of people that are trying to do what you’re doing. I think there are only around 1600 players in the NFL so think about those odds of actually getting there.
In college, you were often in the slot or split out wide. In the NFL, you have been used as an extension of the offensive line. What transition was this for you?
Travis: I played a lot of the slot and out wide with the Giants as well. There were times I lined up as the fullback, just kind of everywhere, to create mismatches with the defense and get into the scene.
Who do you believe is the best tight end in the NFL and why?
Travis: Just me growing up and seeing guys, I think Jeremy Shockey’s a great tight end. Antonio Gates and Jason Witten are real good. When you watch and you’re actually not in the NFL, it’s different. When you’re in the NFL and doing the same stuff that they’re doing, I think it’s a different perspective with how you look at it. Everyone is better at one thing. As far as the overall tight end, I would probably say Jason Witten.
Do you think LeBron James could be a really good tight end in the NFL?
Travis: He’s a monster. What is he 6’8, 260 pounds? But basketball is a total different game than football. It’s not a sport where you can just come into and catch on like that. I think the physical aspect is very tough and the mental aspect is even worse. Obviously, many people have their opinions about that. I don’t think he could but I’m sure other people think he could. But he’s big and maybe he could do something in the NFL.
Who’s better? LeBron James or Kobe Bryant?
Travis: LeBron James.
LeBron James or Michael Jordan?
Travis: Right now… LeBron James. I’m a big Jordan fan but I’d have to say LeBron James.
continue to next page for Travis Beckum’s workout routine