BEMIDJI -- Logan Beaulieu wouldn’t miss a Bemidji State football game for the world. Even from halfway around it.
“It means a lot to me, just knowing he’s watching me every game,” said Logan’s twin brother, Brendan. “He still cares about me and wants me to succeed.”
Logan, a sergeant in the United States Army National Guard, has been stationed in Kuwait since April. While duty to his country comes first, he’s also loyal to his brother, a record-breaking wideout at BSU.
“I love watching him over here,” Logan said. “It’s so awesome to see him succeed, and it makes me want to support him more and see where things go.”
Brendan Beaulieu has become a household name for many Beaver football fans. They’ve watched him go for 1,242 yards and 13 touchdown catches on 71 receptions, all while leading Bemidji State to the greatest season in program history. The Beavers beat Augustana in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs last Saturday, the school's first tournament appearance. Up next is Colorado School of Mines at 1 p.m. Saturday in the second round.
But Brendan’s biggest group of supporters resides 6,637 miles away from Chet Anderson Stadium.
“I’ve got probably 10-15 people down here watching him with me,” Logan said. “It’s awesome that he’s showing up for us and continuing to excel as an athlete and a student, making us proud from over here.”
The intentional effort has been impactful for Brendan, who’s been a menace to opposing secondaries all season.
“He’s always like, ‘Oh, this is the best guy in the NSIC that I’m watching,’” Brendan said of his brother. “It means a lot when he says all those things. It’s hard to put into words how much it means.”
Brendan knows such praise may be a little biased, but it’s also rightfully directed at one of the biggest playmakers in the conference. But what’s more, Brendan has impressed his brother off the field, as well.
“What’s kept me motivated to watch him and keep supporting him this season is that he’s just so humble as a person,” Logan said. “He’s not really one to show off. He doesn’t want to flaunt that he’s as successful as he is. … I just love seeing week in and week out all the work that he’s putting in.”
‘He’s pushed me to become better’
Brendan Beaulieu was born on March 27, 1999. Eighteen minutes later, he welcomed Logan into the world.
Growing up, the twins were competitive. The two mostly played their own sports, with Brendan sporting football pads and basketball shoes and Logan sharpening his hockey skates. But the two converged on youth baseball fields together.
“We kind of (argued about) who was better in baseball,” Logan said. “It took us a little while to bond, I guess you could say.”
“I always wanted to be better than him, and he always wanted to be better than me,” Brendan added. “He’s pushed me to become better.”
That competitive drive has fueled Brendan to some surreal numbers in his junior season.
His 1,242 receiving yards rank sixth in Division II. He capped the regular season with a 10-catch, 212-yard, three-touchdown performance, and he piled on eight catches for 142 yards and a score in the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win on Nov. 20.
Alongside fellow wideout Malik Williams and quarterback Brandon Alt, Brendan powers the fifth-most efficient passing offense in the country.
“It’s awesome to see the success,” Logan said. “It makes me a little mad on the inside that I’m not there to watch it.”
Beaulieu has shattered the program’s single-season receiving yards record, and his 2,145 career receiving yards ranks fourth all-time at BSU. He’s three catches shy of the school’s single-season receptions record (74) and sits second all-time with eight games of 100 receiving yards.
“I just wanted to get to 1,000 (receiving yards), especially at the end of the year because me and Malik were both close,” Brendan said. “I’ve got to thank (Alt) and the coaches for getting me the opportunity to do all that.”
Big-time on the big screen
In time for each opening kickoff, Logan fires up the projector to watch the Beavers on the internet stream.
One game started as late as 3 a.m. due to the time change, but the nine-hour difference has been manageable thanks to mostly afternoon kickoffs.
“For me, it doesn’t matter what time the game is,” Logan said. “I’m going to be up watching it.”
He’s converted his brothers in arms into Bemidji State fans, too.
“They’re absolutely behind me,” Logan said. “They’re always cheering them on, looking for Brendan on the field, looking for BSU to win. … It’s built camaraderie between myself and my friends down here.”
Even as circumstances change, Brendan feels their unwavering support from the other side of the globe.
“Logan was at every game in 2019,” Brendan said. “It was a little different this year because he couldn’t be in the stands and I wasn’t able to see him after every game. (Now), it’s awesome to see not just him, but his whole crew over there watching our games and supporting us.”
The watch party festivities have included cornhole at halftime and hot cocoa on “crisp” 65-degree nights in Kuwait. It’s all part of the fun, but nothing beats watching your brother show out on a weekly basis.
“I’m so proud of the kid. He’s left me speechless this year, and I just wish I was home to watch him,” Logan said. “I’m just excited to watch him continue to excel in life and do his thing.”
Logan will return to Minnesota in late January or early February. No doubt, he’ll have a record-breaker waiting to welcome him home.
“I’m definitely going to give him a big hug when he comes back,” Brendan said. “I may have a few tears, but I might have to hold those back. It’ll be awesome.”