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Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports


NEW ORLEANS ― Odell Beckham Jr. comes across as somewhat shy, his voice coming in just below the decibel of a low sigh.

Get the Newman graduate on the field in his LSU white and gold, however, and he explodes into a ballet of grace and speed, using his 5-foot-11, 183-pound frame to get past and in front of defenders.

And yet, talk to him briefly about where he's from and you'll find out that though he currently plies his trade in Baton Rouge, he'll always be a New Orleans boy.

The careful crafted tattoo that adorns his right arm will never let him forget that.

'It's the Superdome,' Beckham said Friday. 'The Arena. It's pretty much just New Orleans. I'll never forget where I come from. I got it, I think, Week 3. It's kind of just stuck with me ever since. I'm always looking at it like, 'This is where I am and what I'm about to play for.' '

Growing up in the proverbial shadows of the Superdome, Beckham never got a chance to play there with the Greenies.

But when he signed on to play with the Tigers, he knew there was a chance that could change.

'It hit me before I even came here that the national championship was in New Orleans and I'd possibly have an opportunity to play for it,' Beckham said. 'Now that it's here, it's a surreal feeling, it's everything I ever hoped for.'

Monday night, that opportunity will be upon him when No. 1 LSU (13-0) plays No. 2 Alabama (11-1) in the BCS title game.

Beckham likely will have a big role.

He has played in all 13 games, starting eight as a freshman. He has 36 catches for 437 yards and two touchdowns, both 50-plus yard scores.

'It means everything to me,' Beckham said. 'This is that one opportunity everybody talks about and you always dream of. You've got to seize the moment I feel like.'

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