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Antonio Garcia is Patriots’ new kid on the block

Antonio Garcia is getting his first looks at Gillette Stadium.john tlumacki/globe staff/Boston Globe

FOXBOROUGH — Antonio Garcia was hard at work Tuesday.

As the mountainous 6-foot-7-inch, 302-pound offensive tackle emerged from a stairwell leading to the Gillette Stadium turf, the evidence was apparent.

The Patriots’ second selection in last month’s draft (third round, 85th overall) was soaked in the sweat of a man who just completed an OTA workout and was about to take on the New England media for the first time.

Among his first orders of business was to set the record straight with a little name game.

“Tony is just a childhood name,’’ said Garcia. “I’ve always been called that. I don’t know why I’ve been listed as Antonio.’’


He said when he arrived at Troy, officials there listed him as “Antonio” and he never felt the need to correct them.

“All my teammates and coaches called me Tony,’’ he said.

What they also called him was dependable.

“We led the country in the least amount of sacks given up and he didn’t give one up the whole year,’’ said Troy coach Neal Brown, whose Trojans yielded just nine on the season.

Garcia, who played more than 900 snaps at left tackle, was the leader of a line that was equally adept at run blocking; running back Jordan Chunn rushed for more 1,000 yards.

Brown said Garcia’s work ethic and leadership set the tone not only for the offensive line but for the entire team.

“We give an award during spring practice and we give an award during fall camp for our best practice player, and he not only was our best player on our football team, he was our best player in practice, and he won both of them,’’ said Brown, who played his college ball at UMass-Amherst.

Brown said Garcia consistently improved every season, particularly with the jump he made from his junior to senior seasons. Garcia was named an All-Sun Belt first teamer in 2016 after garnering honorable mention honors the previous season.


“It’s huge,’’said Brown. “You look at his play from his junior to senior year and I think that’s why a lot of NFL people were excited about him in the draft.

“When you watch him, his hands got so much better over the years, his punch in pass protection.

“He’s a guy who is very coachable. He understands that he’s not a finished product, so he’ll take the coaching the Patriots will give him.’’

Lots of that coaching will come from veteran offensive line guru Dante Scarnecchia, whom Garcia labeled “very intense.”

Garcia said he’s not concentrating on filling any one particular spot; it was mentioned to him that there are vacancies, particularly with veteran Sebastian Vollmer retiring.

“I’m focused on getting better day by day and creating opportunities for myself,’’ he said.

Garcia said he met with the Patriots during the NFL Combine and had a predraft visit to New England, so he knew the interest was there. Still, he was a little surprised to get the call.

“A little bit, yeah, I was,’’ he said. “I wasn’t expecting it, but I couldn’t be in a better place.”

Langi ready to work

Harvey Langi has put any disappointment about going undrafted in his rearview mirror and is concentrating on the road ahead.

A versatile linebacker out of Brigham Young, Langi was signed by the Patriots shortly after the dust settled from the draft, signing a deal worth $115,000 guaranteed ($100,000 in base salary and a $15,000 signing bonus).


“I feel like, it’s not how you start, it’s what you do and how you finish,’’ Langi said. “That’s all done and gone, and right now I’m just happy to be a part of an organization and a program where I can help and best fit in and do whatever I can to help.”

On paper, the 6-2, 252-pound Langi seems like a prototypical Patriot. He played outside and inside linebacker, defensive end, and running back.

“At BYU, they saw me in different positions and they tried me at different positions and they thought I could help the team best at those positions,’’ said Langi, who collected 57 tackles last season.

“I just put my head down and worked and hopefully produced for them.

“Here, my mentality is the same — just come in and work. I know they’ll put me in the right position for me to be successful.’’

Jaguars join in

The Patriots confirmed that they’ll host the Jaguars for joint practices Aug. 7-8 in advance of the teams’ exhibition opener Aug. 10 at Gillette Stadium. This is the sixth straight season the Patriots have held joint practices during camp. They also are expected to conduct practices with the Texans at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia before the teams face off in Week 2 of the preseason Aug. 19 in Houston.

Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.