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EMU's Hassan Beydoun Honored With #2 Jersey
Blake Bogan to wear #0 vs. Eastern Kentucky.
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Finally, the news announcement Eastern Michigan fans have been waiting to hear.
Eastern Michigan has officially announced WR Hassan Beydoun as this season’s recipient of the #2 jersey, the sixth in EMU’s program’s history to receive the honor since the tradition began in 2017.
EMU’s #2 jersey, The Deuce, is a tribute to the late Demarius Reed, a former receiver with the team who died in 2013. After Reed's death, nobody wore #2 for three years, the time he would've spent at Eastern through his expected graduation. Reed was always happy. If you look at the EMU team photo from 2013, Reed stands out as the only player that smiles.
From the EMU press release:
For the Eastern Michigan University football team, the number two jersey, known as 'The Deuce', must be earned in remembrance of wide receiver Demarius Reed, who passed away on Oct. 18, 2013. Put back into circulation in 2017 with the blessing of Reed's family and former teammates, his number once again graces the field at Rynearson Stadium on the back of the squad's best senior pass catcher.
This season, senior wide receiver Hassan Beydoun (Dearborn, Mich.-Dearborn) has earned the honor to don the No. 2 jersey as part of the tradition, Head Coach Chris Creighton announced Thursday, Sept. 1, following the team's practice at Rynearson Stadium.
Players do not get the opportunity to choose No. 2 by picking it out in the equipment room. They earn it through their actions both on and off the field. This player possesses the integrity, character, and selflessness all of EMU's football players and representatives strive to build within themselves.
Selected to both the Athlon Sports and Phil Steele as a Preseason First Team All-MAC selection in 2022, Beydoun is coming off a historic 2021 campaign that saw him collect Second Team All-MAC honors. He set the EMU record for receptions in a season and led the MAC with 97 grabs, as he racked up 1,015 yards through the air. Beydoun's 2021 tally ranks fourth in the Eastern Michigan record book, while he also became EMU's first 1,000-yard wide out since 2004.
A two-time nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, the former walk-on has 167 career receptions, a number that is good for fourth-most in program history. Beydoun is on pace to take over the number one spot in the category, as he sits just 81 receptions shy of all-time leader Eric Deslauriers (248).
Overall, he recorded three games with 10+ catches last season. Beydoun was one of only three players in the NCAA to have three-or-more such games. He also served as the Eagles' main return man, leading the squad in punt returns (11), punt return yards (62), kick returns (15), and kick return yards (284).
Beydoun recorded a game-high 11 catches for 83 yards in the LendingTree Bowl versus Liberty, Dec. 18. He totaled 12 receptions for a career-high 197 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a win at Toledo, Nov. 2. The Dearborn, Mich. native hauled in a career-high 14 receptions for 167 yards against Ball State, Oct. 16. That number is tied for 20th in all-time single game receptions at EMU, and was the best for an Eagle since the 2014 season. His 14 receptions are tied for fifth-most in a single-game all time at EMU.
Affectionately known as 'D. Reed' by his teammates, Reed was a natural-born leader that made friends easily. He excelled both athletically and academically throughout his life, and quickly became a leader both on and off the field at EMU. Known as the "locker room joker", Reed impacted everyone he met.
"When former teammates and Demarius' father both thought that this new tradition was a great way to honor his memory, we knew we got it right," added Creighton. "I truly believe that wearing 'The Deuce' will forever be a special honor in this program."
EMU has continued to recognize Reed's influence on the football program since his passing. His jersey is buried at midfield under the Block E logo inside Rynearson Stadium, while a plaque now memorializes his accomplishments inside the locker room at the Student-Athlete Performance Center.
Former #2 honorees, with stats
2017- Sergio Bailey II — 54 rec., 878 yards (16.3 avg.), 9 TD; 2 rush, 25 yards
2018- Blake Banham — 60 rec., 758 yards (12.6 avg.), 5 TD; 8 rush, 32 yards, 1 rush TD; 21 punt ret., 209 yards; 4 kick ret., 89 yards
2019- Mathew Sexton — 34 rec., 508 yards (14.9 avg.), 4 TD; 5 rush, 14 yards; 1 punt ret., 50 yards, 1 TD
2020- Thomas Odukoya — 13 rec., 130 yards, 2 TD
2021- Bryson Cannon — 20 rec., 272 yards, 3 TD
Every EMU fan I know of that cares about who gets to wear #2 on any given year knee-jerkingly expected Beydoun to be the recipient this year. Beydoun, the former tryout walk-on turned All-MAC receiver, has a shot of making it to the next level after he finishes this senior season. More importantly, he has the personality to back this decision up. The way Beydoun looks at it, he’s playing a kid’s game and always determined to enjoy every moment of it.
Even if you don’t care about EMU football, how do you not root for Hassan Beydoun?
#0 vs. EKU: Blake Bogan
Senior safety Blake Bogan will also receive the weekly honors of wearing #0 for the EMU defense tonight against Eastern Kentucky.
In 2020, the NCAA allowed players to wear #0 on the field. EMU’s taken the opportunity up by letting a new hand-picked, deserving defensive (or special teams) player wear it every week.
Bogan, a graduate student from Grand Blanc, Mich. in his final year of eligibility, has played in a career 39 games for EMU (18 starts) with 114 total tackles made (62 solo, 2.5 TFL), 2 interceptions, 6 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, 3 recovered, and 1 kick block.
Bogan will open the year as EMU’s starting Rover safety.
More uniform assignment changes
WR Darius Lassiter, an incoming JUCO player, was #10 on the roster when he initially joined this summer, but will now sport a single-digit #9 to open the year.
S Brandon Benson, returning graduate transfer from Bucknell, will wear #7 instead of #3.
As previously mentioned, DE Jose Ramirez will wear #4 this year instead of #55.
WR I’Shawn Stewart wore #11 last year, and will now wear #6.
QB Brooks Blount, a JUCO standout who recently transferred into the program, will wear #13.
Sophomore S Cameron Smith will wear #16 instead of #22.
Sophomore RB Bryson Moss will wear #21 instead of #26.
Newcomer walk-ons have switched numbers exiting camp and entering the season. Freshman WR Quinn Fracassi will now wear #23, senior RB Sebastian Toland will wear #25.
DE Carter Gilbert, returning walk-on from Oxford, Mich., will wear #57 instead of #64 this year.
EMU’s official roster has two WR wearing #81: Nick Deveraux, a walk-on transfer from Davenport, and Dylan Summers, a returning transfer from Cornell. Last I saw when I went to EMU’s practices, Summers wasn’t in attendance. Or at least not from what I noticed. Deveraux wore #47 as he joined for practices, Summers wore #81 last year.
DL Adrian Gonzalez wore #67 last year, will wear #96 this year.
DL Tim Grant-Randall wore #61 last year, will wear #98 this year.
DL Melvin Swindle II wore #65 last year, will wear #99 this year.
Two new walk-ons have joined the team
#51 LB Andrew Buck, a freshman from Menlo Park, Calif.
#86 TE Blake Daniels, a senior from Macomb, Mich. and Davenport transfer.