Beck was born in Bowdon, Georgia and graduated from Cedartown High School. He played four years at Georgia Tech and had his best season his senior year in 1951, when the Yellow Jackets finished 11–0–1 including a 17–14 victory over Baylor in the Orange Bowl. He was named All-America by the Football Writers Association and the American Football Coaches Association, as well as Most Valuable Lineman in the Southeastern Conference. He missed the 1953–54 seasons due to military service during the Korean War. He later was president of a trucking company in the Atlanta area and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.