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It would be difficult to find a player more eager to get on the field for the 2011 season than junior running back Brandon Beachum. It has been a long road back to the field for the Youngstown area product after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Indiana in mid-November of the 2009 season. After countless hours of rehabilitation, Beachum is coming off a great spring practice season. With good size and strength to complement his downhill running style, Beachum has all the tools to play a significant role in the running game this fall. The multi-talented back is a physical and evasive runner with good hands and a threat catching the ball out of the backfield. He is primed to be a big contributor for the Penn State offense the next two seasons. Possessing great work-ethic, Beachum will be vying for time in a deep pool of talented running backs. He and running back Michael Zordich were prep teammates at Cardinal Mooney HS, helping their team to the 2006 Ohio Division IV state championship and the 2007 state title game. Beachum is one of three returning Nittany Lions from Northeast Ohio. He brought a cumulative grade-point average above 3.00 into the summer and is a probable Academic All-Big Ten candidate. Beachum spent part of his summer studying abroad in Spain during the first summer academic session and is on schedule to graduate in December.
Beachum suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Indiana in November 2009. He spent the 2010 season rehabilitating the serious knee injury and was able to practice towards the end of the season. He was able to take a medical redshirt season, having played as a true freshman in 2008.
2009 Sophomore Season
Beachum appeared in the first 11 games and was seeing more playing time as the season progressed, but suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee as a member of the kickoff return unit against Indiana. Beachum had surgery soon after the injury. In the early portion of the season, Beachum was the No. 2 fullback and also played on special teams, where he made nine tackles, most among all offensive players. But, when Stephfon Green suffered a sprained ankle against Minnesota, Beachum was shifted to tailback and continued his progression. He finished fourth on the team in rushing with 113 yards on 24 carries (4.7) with one touchdown. He scored on a two-yard run in the Nittany Lions' 34-13 win at Northwestern, gaining 25 yards on just four carries. Beachum gained a season-high 28 yards on four carries against Eastern Illinois, also recording two special teams tackles. He also rushed for 20 yards on four attempts in the 20-0 win over the Golden Gophers and had 23 yards on seven carries in the 35-10 win at Michigan. He also had three receptions for 29 yards, including a 14-yard catch against Akron. He was on the field for 234 snaps, topped by 38 in the 35-10 win at Michigan.
2008 Freshman Season
Beachum was one of three true freshmen to play in every game. Playing on the offense and special teams, he had the opportunity to carry the ball in seven games, gaining 114 yards on 28 carries (4.1) and scoring one touchdown. He gained a season-high 43 yards on just eight carries in the opener with Coastal Carolina, scoring on a one-yard run. He gained 39 yards on nine attempts in the win over Temple. Beachum threw a crucial downfield block to clear the path for Derrick Williams' 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to lift the Nittany Lions to their eventual 14-point win over Illinois. Beachum gained eight yards on his only carry against Southern California in the 2009 Rose Bowl. He also recorded eight tackles and was on the field for 269 snaps, led by 34 plays against Coastal Carolina and 28 in the Rose Bowl. Beachum joined linebacker Michael Mauti as early enrollees, starting their Penn State careers in January 2008. Beachum looked like a veteran in the 2008 Blue-White game, as he led the victorious Blue squad with 55 rushing yards on just seven carries for a superb 7.9 average.
Beachum was a standout at Cardinal Mooney HS as a junior and senior for Coach P.J. Fecko. He was selected an All-American by Rivals.com, first-team All-Ohio, All-Northeast Ohio and all-conference. Beachum was instrumental in Cardinal Mooney advancing to the state championship game twice. The team lost to Coldwater, 28-27, in the 2007 OHSAA Division IV state championship game. Beachum ran for 191 yards on 34 carries (5.6 avg.) and assisted on four tackles. Cardinal Mooney won the 2006 OHSAA Division IV state championship, finishing 14-0. Beachum ran for 61 yards and scored a touchdown. On defense, he made seven tackles, recovered a fumble and returned an interception 34 yards. During his senior season, he ran for 1,525 yards, for an average of 117.3 per game. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry and scored 14 touchdowns, despite missing two games with an injury. He also recorded 22 solo tackles and assisted on 30 others, recording 2.5 sacks. Beachum attended Poland Seminary HS as a freshman and sophomore, where he played football and ran track. He also played basketball at Cardinal Mooney. Beachum graduated from high school in 3½ years.
Full name is Brandon M. Beachum. He is the son of Lock Beachum Jr. and Michelle Whipple. He has three younger siblings -- Victor, Patterson and Nyomi. Beachum enjoys drawing and watching the television series "Seinfeld." He aspires to be a marketing director. Born December 14, 1989 in Youngstown, Ohio.
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