Free Agency

5 things to know about new Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. is a Cleveland Brown. To help you get acquainted with the superstar wideout, here are five things to know about Beckham.

1. Beckham and fellow Browns teammate Greg Robinson played together in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Odell Beckham Jr. grew up in Louisiana and attended New Orleans' Isidore Newman High School, where he grew into a four-star recruit and a top-150 prospect nationally by his senior year. That led him to LSU, where he starred alongside fellow Browns teammate Jarvis Landry, and eventually to NFL superstardom. 

But before he reached the spotlight, Beckham played in the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2011 as a part of the West squad. Also on that team? Browns left tackle Greg Robinson, who ended up competing against Beckham in the Southeastern Conference as a member of the Auburn Tigers. 

Robinson signed a one-year deal in late February to stay with the Browns, meaning the two will team up for the first time since that weekend in San Antonio, this time trading in yellow and black for brown and orange.

Take a look at a selection of photos of new Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr., including ones from his time with new teammate Jarvis Landry back when they both attended LSU.

2. Beckham did a little bit of everything in high school

Beckham played four positions in high school and excelled at all of them, but as a result, he was a little bit under the radar (or about as much as a U.S. Army All-American can be) on the recruiting trail. His 247Sports recruiting page listed him as a cornerback. ESPN's summary of the rosters from the 2011 game does not mention Beckham at all, despite the fact he was the No. 20 receiver prospect in the nation in his class.

Our own senior staff writer Andrew Gribble covered the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. During the lead-up to the game, Gribble saw Beckham repeatedly completing standing backflips, and also threw a football just about the length of the field. He was a true freak athlete, even at the young age of 17.

It's no surprise, then, that...

3. Beckham threw the two longest touchdown passes of the Giants' 2018 season

It's true. Before Beckham even found the end zone himself in 2018, he threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Saquon Barkley in a Week 5 loss to Carolina. Eight weeks later, he threw another deep ball for six, this time 49 yards to former LSU teammate Russell Shepard.

Oddly enough, another former LSU teammate of those two completed a deep pass on a play that looked eerily similar to Beckham's second touchdown pass of 2018...

4. He takes the image thing seriously

Beckham's fashion taste is undeniably unique, if not excellent. Sure, some of his outfits are a bit adventurous, but he's never seen disheveled and is always well put together. It's no surprise that he has a very prominent deal with Nike, including rocking a wide variety of Nike Air More Uptempo cleats in 2018 (with his initials and number on the sides), and even releasing a lifestyle sneaker with the brand. 

Speaking of sneakers, he participated in Complex's much-viewed "Sneaker Shopping" series and spent $1,548.68 on high-end kicks (including his lifestyle sneaker). Landry ($5,954.13) and Baker Mayfield ($1,187.01) have also been on the YouTube show.

Beckham is almost always seen wearing Supreme brand apparel (in fact, the aforementioned cleats are a collaboration with Supreme). GQ did a feature on how he's almost singlehandedly carrying the NFL pregame style game. CNN Style wrote about his fashion sense, too, calling him "the style icon the NFL needs." He also did Head & Shoulders commercials for a multi-year span, showing off his dyed hair.

5. His digital reach is massive

Beckham is a superstar receiver with a worldwide following. If there's one player fans around the world will know when discussing the Browns, it's Beckham.

He once starred in a Super Bowl commercial. His Instagram has 12.5 million followers. He had a 17-episode documentary series on Facebook in 2018. He's your neighbor's kids' favorite player, because when your neighbor's kid is scrolling his or her Instagram feed, they're seeing video highlights of Beckham making one-handed grabs, or his latest advertisement. Or he's courtside at an NBA game. Or he's visiting French professional soccer club Paris Saint-Germain F.C. and receiving his own custom PSG jersey. Or he's hanging out with another former Cleveland icon, LeBron James.

The image part has a lot to do with it -- no one in the league is dripping with more swagger than Beckham -- but the play backs it up. And that's what Cleveland will come to love most about its newest superstar.

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