FOXBORO -- Steve Beauharnais calls himself a student of the game of football. But on Saturday, even at the moment when he was being selected in the seventh round by the Patriots, the game wasn't quite at the forefront of his mind.
"I wasn’t watching (the draft), but I had it on the speaker in the other room," Beauharnais said in a conference call Saturday. "I was aware of everything that was going on."
As it turns out, he was busy being a student in the more traditional sense. He is finishing off his labor studies degree at Rutgers and was in the middle of some work when he found out he had been drafted by New England.
"I was excited, but I had work to do," he said, "and I always focus on the task at hand. I was excited though."
Beauharnais, an inside linebacker the Patriots took with their second of two seventh-round picks, says his strong suit is in defending the run. He had 82 tackles last season, including six for a loss.
"I’m a great run stopper," Beauharnais said. "I always have a good presence in the middle and that’s the way I like to play -- hard-nosed football."
Because of his size -- 6-foot-1, 240 pounds -- he may be more suited to contribute to New England's special teams units. That'd be fine with him, he intimated. He pointed out that he chipped in on punt, punt block, kickoff and kickoff return while with the Scarlet Knights.
The Patriots selected three players out of Rutgers, joining cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Duron Harmon, who were taken on Friday in the third round. Beauharnais had not spoken to either before talking to the media on Saturday, but he was excited to see his teammates picked. There were seven Knights drafted in all, including five from the defensive side of the ball.
"It was a great feeling. When Duron Harmon got picked, it was great, when Logan Ryan got picked," Beauharnais said. "Kasheem Greene got picked earlier today. It was great. They all deserve it. They're hard working players."
Beauharnais is also already familiar with one of his new coaches, Steve Belichick. The two were teammates, friends and had lockers next to one another while at Rutgers.