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A college reunion with Hunter Henry has Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. ‘very, very excited’

Deatrich Wise Jr. on re-signing with New England: “I feel like this place is second to none when it comes to the mind-set and culture of success.”
Deatrich Wise Jr. on re-signing with New England: “I feel like this place is second to none when it comes to the mind-set and culture of success.”Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Of all the players the Patriots acquired this offseason, tight end Hunter Henry was the one that caught the eye of defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr.

“I’m very, very excited to have him on the team,” Wise said Thursday.

Henry and Wise have known each other since their days playing at Arkansas. The pair overlapped for three seasons as Razorbacks, forging a friendship.

“Hunter’s that dude,” Wise said. “On the field, he turns into this guy that becomes unblockable and catches everything. I think his hands are somehow magnetic to leather because everything in his area he catches.”

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Henry and Wise are just one example of college players reuniting on the Patriots. Running back Damien Harris, linebacker Anfernee Jennings, and rookie quarterback Mac Jones all played together at Alabama, while running back Sony Michel and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn played together at Georgia.

Arkansas product Hunter Henry will be joining his ex-college teammate Deatrich Wise Jr. at the next level.
Arkansas product Hunter Henry will be joining his ex-college teammate Deatrich Wise Jr. at the next level.Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

Adding to the list: The Patriots drafted two teammates out of Oklahoma this year in defensive end Ronnie Perkins and running back Rhamondre Stevenson. Also, rookie linebacker Cameron McGrone, offensive tackle Michael Onwenu, defensive end Chase Winovich, and linebacker Josh Uche all were on the same Michigan team in 2018.

For Wise, the opportunity to play with Henry might not have happened had things gone differently for him this offseason. As a free agent for the first time in his career, Wise decided to test the market, but he ultimately returned on a four-year deal — and he is happy he did so.

“I just love the atmosphere here, the culture here that Bill Belichick and [Robert] Kraft and all the coaches and players have created,” he said. “I feel like this place is second to none when it comes to the mind-set and culture of success.”

So what do they need to do to put it all together? Wise’s answer called on a popular refrain.

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“The only thing we need to do is what we always have done — and that’s our job,” he said. “No one coming here is going to be a one-man show. It takes 11 guys to make a defense, and if everybody does their one-eleventh, then that’s all we can ask for.”

McCourty to Miami?

Jason McCourty, who played the last three seasons for the Patriots, is set to sign with the Dolphins, according to NFL Media.

Along with twin brother — and fellow New England defensive back — Devin McCourty, the veteran not only carved out a niche as a consistent and steady performer on the field, but was one of the most well-respected players in the Patriots locker room.

He started 33 regular-season games and had a pair of interceptions with the Patriots.

McCourty, 33, would be reunited in Miami with former New England defensive signal-caller Brian Flores, who is now head coach of the Dolphins.

Offseason schedule set

The NFL has finalized offseason workout dates for all 32 teams.

For the Patriots, rookie minicamp will take place May 14-16. Their seven-week rookie development program will begin May 17.

The rest of the Patriots are currently in Phase 1 of the offseason, which began April 19 and includes strength and conditioning work along with virtual meetings. Players can begin to engage in on-field drills when Phase 2 begins May 17.

In-person meetings are permitted in the final phase, which begins May 24 and will run for four weeks. During this time, teams can conduct 10 days of organized team activities with seven-on-seven, nine-on-seven, and 11-on-11 drills. For the Patriots, these practices will take place May 24-25, May 27, June 1, June 3-4, June 7-8, and June 10-11.

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The only mandatory portion of the offseason, a three-day minicamp, will take place June 15-17.

New investment

Kraft is among the new investors in Endeavor Group Holdings, the parent company of UFC, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing does not disclose how many shares Kraft purchased individually. AC Milan owner Paul Singer is one of the other new investors … The Patriots have made a few promotions within their scouting department. Matt Groh, former national scout, is now director of college scouting; Steve Cargile, former pro scout, is director of pro scouting; and Camren Williams, former area scout, is a national scout.

Christopher Price of the Globe staff also contributed to this report.


Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.