Know the Knights: Steve Beauharnais

Spring practice begins March 29, and each day leading up to it will unveil another player in the "Know the Knights" feature. Today's profile piece is on junior linebacker Steve Beauharnais.

One of the expected cornerstones of Rutgers' 2011 defense is linebacker Steve Beauharnais, who will be a second-year starter and brings loads of experience to a unit in need of depth. As's "Know the Knights" series continues, we take a look at Beauharnais:
Steve Beauharnais

2011 Eligibility: Junior
Ht.: 6-2 Wt: 230
Position: Linebacker
High school: St. Joseph's High (Montvale, N.J.)
Background: Made the move from strongside linebacker to starting middle linebacker last spring and finished third on the team with 79 tackles in 2010. Had 1½ sacks and a team-high four fumble recoveries. …Played in 13 games as a freshman and made 36 tackles and had five sacks from the strongside position, including a career-high seven tackles against West Virginia. …Three-year starter at Saddlebrook (N.J.) High before transferring to St. Joseph's, which is the alma mater of Jason McCourty, Devin McCourty and Ron Girault. …Made 177 tackles in his final two years in high school.

Projected 2011 Role: Beauharnais looked much more natural as strongside as a freshman, but made gains as a middle linebacker as a sophomore. One of the things Beauharnais had to deal with was being placed in the middle and having to play sideline-to-sideline, and he did have an uneven time in coverage.
It took time for him to adjust not only to the physical aspect, but also the mental side of things as the quarterback of the defense. He was calling the plays and making sure everyone was in the right position.
Experience is an asset, as is Beauharnais' versatility. He can play strongside and middle linebacker for the Scarlet Knights, and the staff does like to experiment in the spring.
Starting for a year at middle linebacker will serve Beauharnais well heading into the 2011 season.

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