Beau Stephens smiles when he hears a familiar voice over the drive-through loudspeaker at the McDonald’s on Woods Chapel Road in Blue Springs.
“When I hear that voice I know to punch in a large mocha, because he comes by every day I work and orders one,” said Stephens, the 6-foot-6, 304-pound Blue Springs High School offensive lineman, who takes customers’ money before they receive their food or drink order.
“If there aren’t many people in drive-through, we talk a little football and he always tells me how much he supports me and Blue Springs football. I have a few people like that – Blue Springs football fans who just want to talk about sports since we’re all in this quarantine. It just sucks, but there’s nothing any of us can do about it but just try and survive the next few months and see what happens.”
Rivals.com ranks Stephens, who will be a senior in the fall, as the top offensive lineman in the metro area, No. 5 in the state and No. 43 in the country.
His stock took a significant jump recently when he was offered a scholarship by national champion LSU.
“Yeah, how about that?” asked Stephens, chuckling a bit as he grasped the offer from what is considered one of the top football programs in the nation. “Those are the type offers where you go, ‘Well, I guess I must be doing something right.’ I am honored to receive every offer I get – and right now Rivals.com says I have 14 Division 1 offers.
“I try to keep track of them, but to be honest with you, I am so honored to talk to any school, but there are some who I tell up front that I doubt if I go to their school.
“One school asked me up front, ‘Is there a chance?’ And I told them that I appreciate their honesty and I told them no. But they still send me texts and messages all the time.
“It kind of gets overwhelming for a 17-year-old kid who is trying to deal with this new online school and getting in my workouts.”
And his heavy iron workouts are legendary among Wildcat players.
It’s easy to see where Stephens lifts in a makeshift weight room in the family garage. There is a pool of sweat that he mops up after each early morning training session.
“I’m taking this coronavirus stuff seriously,” Stephens said. “I make sure everything is clean before I lift and I clean it after I lift. I’m doing my best to get into a daily routine – up about 8, start my online classes, lift and go to McDonald’s, where I work Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s different, that’s for sure, but it’s OK because everyone is facing the same situation.”
The pandemic has kept Stephens and his family from visiting some area colleges on their own dime, before the official visits start in the fall.
“It would have been nice to go to some schools, check them out with my folks, and see what they’re all about, but that’s not going to happen because of the quarantine – the quarantine, ugh!” Stephens said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this and I know no one else has seen anything like this either. I’m doing my best to keep in contact with my friends and my teammates.
“Coach (Jim) Page (the offensive line coach at Blue Springs) and (new Blue Springs head football) Coach (David) White have sent me some things to work on this summer.
“There’s a lot of stuff to keep me busy. I’m not real good on returning messages on iMessages, I think I have 71 unread messages, so maybe I’ll take care of that tonight.”