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Bill Belichick, New England Patriots show Rutgers love

The New England Patriots dispatched scouts nationwide to find talent in the 2013 NFL Draft, but it appears they like players from one particular university.

Coach Bill Belichick used three of the Patriots' seven selections at this year's draft on Rutgers players.

The Patriots grabbed cornerback Logan Ryan with the No. 83 overall pick in the third round before taking his teammate, safety Duron Harmon, at No. 91. With their final pick in the seventh round, the Patriots added undersized (6-foot-1, 240-pound) linebacker Steve Beauharnais, also a Rutgers man.

The Patriots last year added Rutgers undrafted free agent Justin Francis to play on the defensive line. And let's not forget about veteran defensive back Devin McCourty, who -- you guessed it -- played at Rutgers.

What gives?

"I think the reason why Rutgers guys have success at the Patriots is because we're built to play football on the field, but live like a professional off the field," Ryan told on Friday. "That's something that we're taught, and that's something that I'm going to bring to the Patriots organization."

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Belichick's close friendship with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano -- who coached at Rutgers from 2001 to 2011 -- is a factor in the Patriots' thinking. Schiano groomed tough-minded players who mold well to the Patriots' way of life. Besides, Belichick's son, Steve, played lacrosse there.

"We've had a number of our players here comment on (Ryan's and Harmon's) personal characteristics," Belichick said Friday, before adding Beauharnais to the mix. "I think we're getting some high-quality guys as well as some good football players."

Because it's Belichick, we'll take his word for it.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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