Darrian Beavers is ‘a really intelligent football player’

Darrian Beavers is ‘a really intelligent football player’

The Ohio native spent his first two years at Connecticut, where he played in all 12 games in each season. In his sophomore campaign back in 2018, Beavers led the Huskies with 4.0 sacks, despite starting only half of their games.

After transferring to Cincinnati in the spring of 2019, Beavers went on to play in all 14 games, with 10 starts, for the Bearcats that fall. Although it was Beavers’ final two seasons with the Bearcats that put him on the NFL’s radar, Fickell said it was a conversation prior to the 2020 season that led the coach to truly believe that the linebacker had a future at the next level.

“Everybody has a dream to be a pro, right? But there’s only a few guys that have the actual passion to be a pro. He kind of made that transformation in 2020 when he sat down with us and talked to us about possibly redshirting in 2020, knowing that he had a passion to play at the next level, and he realized the gap that he had to make up,” Fickell exclaimed. “The good fortune is with the COVID stuff, they kind of said that everyone was going to have another year, so he was able to play the whole 2020 season. But it really kind of showed me he’s willing and ready to take that next step to being a pro because he has a passion to play at the next level.

“I think it really showed this past year in his ability to play every snap, his ability to play as a third-down rush guy, as a first- and second-down guy inside the box, when actually his strength might be a little bit more of being an edge guy and be really, really good in pass coverage. The evolution of where he came from as a safety to a linebacker to a defensive end back into a real kind of hybrid player, it all kind of came, to me, full circle when he kind of made that decision that he has a passion to play at the next level.”

As a sixth-round pick, Beavers’ path to seeing a lot of playing time in his rookie season may be challenging. However, one area in which he could earn a spot on the field right away is on special teams, where Fickell says Beavers excelled while at Cincinnati.

“I had him for two years starting for us on the punt team, which is as high as you can get in our program,” said the Bearcats coach. “So, he understands the importance of it. He has done it, he’s been very good at it. When he realizes as you go to camp that the best way to be able to make that team is to be able to excel in the special teams, he’ll have a lot of things that he’s already doneā€¦ The [players] We trust the most are going to be the ones on the punt team, and he’s been there for two years.”

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