Posted: 11:51 am Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Atlantic WR J’Rod Beard switches commitment from EIU to Hampton 

By Jeff Greer

Atlantic senior wide receiver J’Rod Beard committed to Eastern Illinois last week, but he’s had a change of heart.

Beard (5-9, 180, No. 29 on the Big Board) said Hampton’s hard push for his services made him reconsider his commitment. Plus, he likes the Pirates’ spread offense.

“I’m made for that (offense),” Beard said, “and it felt like home besides the cold.”

The senior receiver, who was a Palm Beach Post All-Area second teamer this fall, said his new commitment is pretty strong.

“I feel like they need me,” Beard said. “Right now I’m leaning toward Hampton — a lot.”

Beard had 33 catches for 513 yards and seven touchdowns in his final season at Atlantic. Hampton currently boasts seven Palm Beach County products on its roster, and the Pirates are also hotly pursuing Glades Central quarterback/linebacker Jamarious Rowley, who will visit the Virginia campus this weekend.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding. Players can sign letters of intent on national signing day, Feb. 2.