Lowcountry natives Beckley, Meade, Nelson highlight The Citadel Hall of Fame class for 2023

The Citadel Baseball
The Citadel Baseball(Live 5 News)
Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 4:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. – Former record-setting performers and distinguished alumni represent The Citadel’s 2023 Hall of Fame class announced Thursday afternoon.

The six inductees include David Beckley (Baseball), Jesse Jackson (Honorary), Alvin “Scooter” Johnson Jr. (Football), Sonny Meade (Baseball), Demetrius Nelson (Basketball), and Bill Ogburn (Honorary).

The 45th annual The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame banquet will take place on Sept. 8 at the Charleston Marriott Crystal Room (170 Lockwood Drive). The cocktail reception starts at 6 p.m., with the program set to begin at 7 p.m. The attire is smart casual.

David Beckley, Baseball, Class of 1996

A mainstay at the top of the lineup, David Beckley was a valuable member of The Citadel’s baseball team from 1993-96, starting an impressive 232 games during his career. In 1994, he helped lead the team to a Southern Conference Championship, and the following year, he played a crucial role in securing both the regular season and tournament championships. Beckley’s exceptional performance earned him a well-deserved spot on the All-Southern Conference Tournament team in 1995.

Upon graduation, Beckley successfully coached high school before returning to The Citadel as an assistant coach under head coach Fred Jordan. He spent 17 years on the staff, including his last 11 years as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

He still ranks in the Top 10 in stolen bases (103), triples (14), games played (236), runs (198), walks (127), and at-bats (875) in the program’s history.

Jesse Jackson, Honorary, Class of 1980

When he found a need, he would step forward without being asked twice; Jesse Jackson has aimed to support the cadets and cadet-athletes in their journey at The Citadel. Jackson, a member of the 1842 Giving Society, became one of the first Citadel alumni to lease an Executive Suite at Johnson Hagood Stadium. He was the driving force in the upgrades and renovations of The Citadel Strength & Conditioning Center, allowing cadet-athletes to improve their health and performance. Over the years, he has endowed several athletic scholarships and a fund for senior Cadets who can’t afford their class ring.

He is an outstanding community member and continues to be one of the largest supporters of The Citadel Athletics.

Alvin “Scooter” Johnson Jr., Football, Class of 2003

One of the most versatile football players to step foot at Johnson Hagood Stadium, Scooter Johnson was a two-time All-Southern Conference wide receiver for the Bulldogs. After switching from quarterback to wide receiver, he finished his career with 110 receptions for 1,603 yards and 16 touchdowns in two years. His most productive season came in 2002, where he earned Honorable Mention All-American honors from the National Football Gazette after finishing with 69 receptions for 960 yards. The 69 receptions rank third on the single-season list, while the 960 yards rank fourth. Johnson would eclipse the 100-yard mark five times during the season.

He takes great pride in supporting The Citadel Athletics and is an active member of The Citadel Football Association Board and community service activities around Charleston.

Sonny Meade, Baseball, Class of 2009

A dominant bat for the Bulldogs, Sonny Meade had an exceptional season that remains one of the best in his school’s history. He earned a spot on the 2009 All-Southern Conference First Team coaches and media and the 2009 ESPN Academic All-American First Team after hitting .397 with a program record of 104 hits, which helped lead the Bulldogs to a 37-22 overall and 20-10 SoCon record. During his career as a Bulldog from 2006-09, Meade recorded a .369 batting average, 355 hits, 207 RBIs, 70 doubles, and 18 home runs in 232 career starts. He finished second all-time in career hits and career RBIs, and third all-time in doubles and total bases with 487.

Meade graduated from The Citadel with a 3.83 GPA and became a successful medical salesman in Greenville, South Carolina.

Demetrius Nelson, Basketball, Class of 2008

The local big man, who was a force to be reckoned with in the paint, Demetrius Nelson, finished as the ninth-all-time leading scorer in Bulldogs history with 1,264 points and 10th-all-time with 626 career rebounds. In his final season as a Bulldog, Nelson averaged 16.4 points on 59.6-percent shooting; he scored a career-high 29 points against Western Carolina, which included him knocking down 15-of-18 free throw attempts, tying him for fifth all-time in made free throws in a game.

Nelson earned several impressive accolades during his college basketball career. He was recognized as an All-Southern Conference First Team member by both the coaches and the media and as a Mid-Major All-American by CollegeInsider.com. The National Association of Basketball Coaches also named him to their First-Team All-District 22. Following his college career, Nelson pursued professional basketball opportunities in Europe.

Bill Ogburn, Honorary, Class of 1967

A former four-year Citadel football and baseball cadet-athlete, Bill Ogburn has continued to show his devotion and commitment to The Citadel Athletics for the last 50 years. Ogburn has been a member of The Citadel Hall of Fame Committee for the past 28 years and serves as the Hall of Fame Chairman Emeritus. Ogburn served as the 1967 class chairman for The Citadel Foundation, President of The Citadel Brigadier Foundation in 2000, and the President of The Citadel Alumni Association in 1991.

Ogburn is a member of The Citadel Alumni Association Board of Directors, The Citadel Star of the West Society, the Class of ‘67 War Memorial Committee, and the Order of the Tartan.