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With a talented pool of players like the Patriots have for the upcoming season, it will likely be hard for any undrafted free agents to crack the coveted 53-man roster. However, it’s happened before — see: Malcolm Butler, David Andrews, Ryan Allen — and those players have contributed significantly to two championships.

So we examined four undrafted rookies who have impressed thus far in training camp and took a closer look at them:

Kenny Moore II, cornerback

Height/weight: 5-9/179. College: Valdosta State. Hometown: Valdosta, Ga.

College stats: In 11 games last season, Moore finished with a team-high 65 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, a sack, five interceptions, and eight pass breakups.


Highlights in training camp: Moore has shown his quickness and ability to be in the right place at the right time. He’s pulled down a few interceptions and has had active hands resulting in some pass breakups. He’s shown off his speed during special teams work as a gunner, even getting a “Nice play, Kenny!” from assistant special teams coach Bubba Valentine during a kickoff. He also has gotten a few looks with the ones.

More on him: Moore did not start playing football until he was a senior in high school, favoring soccer, basketball, and track and field instead. Before joining the Lowndes County (Ga.) team, he helped out in the concession stand at football games.

“My basketball coach ran the visitor side concession stands at Lowndes games,” Moore told The Spectator, VSU’s student newspaper, earlier this year. “He was asking if anybody was free to help him. I was the one that said, ‘Yeah, I could do it.’ ”

■ The team went 9-2 Moore’s senior year, and he went on to start every game for the Blazers as a freshman the following year. He had contemplated leaving school to join the Air Force.


“Starting out I didn’t have the intentions of playing,” Moore said. “I ended up starting a game freshman year, and I’m thankful for that. It was really the guys who came before me who taught me how to be a college athlete.

“My mind has been a lot of places. I didn’t expect to play. I was actually about to go to the Air Force my second semester of college if I did not play my freshman year. It was all God. It’s just the path he wanted me to take.”

■ Moore said in an interview last fall that his favorite player is former Jet and Patriot Darrelle Revis.

“He’s a technician of the game. He knows how to get out of his breaks, and he’s a smart player as well. I like Richard Sherman as well. He’s one of the smartest guys in the game, and he’s more versatile than anybody else.”

■ He also said his favorite player growing up was Champ Bailey, the former Georgia Bulldog who went on to have a successful career with the Denver Broncos. It’s partially why he wore No. 24 for the Blazers. (He has worn No. 42 during Patriots training camp.)

Moore, who wore No. 24 in college, has worn No. 42 in training camp.
Moore, who wore No. 24 in college, has worn No. 42 in training camp.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

“It’s a popular number in my family,” Moore said. “Not to mention that Champ Bailey was my favorite player growing up. He was in his prime and the number 24 symbolizes an important player on any team.”


■ Moore said he and his father were not close growing up. But a couple of years ago, they established a relationship, and his father began attending his Valdosta State games. However, his father grew ill and died in early 2016 from kidney and liver failure. Moore said the support he received from his teammates helped him through the grieving process.

“Before he passed away, a few of the defensive backs and a lot of coaches at the time would stay at the hospital with me,” Moore said. “Through the whole process, my teammates were really there for me. Whenever my family couldn’t be there — when they were out of town or my grandparents weren’t here — my teammates were calling me to see where I was so they could come by and take my mind off of it.”

Austin Carr, wide receiver

Austin Carr averaged 95.9 yards per game for Northwestern last season.
Austin Carr averaged 95.9 yards per game for Northwestern last season.Adam Hunger/Getty Images/File 2016

Height/weight: 6-1/195. College: Northwestern. Hometown: Benicia, Calif.

College stats: In his final year at Northwestern, Carr played in all 12 games, catching 90 passes for 1,247 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 13.9 yards per catch and 95.9 yards per game.

Highlights in training camp: He has consistently run with the second-team. Though he’s had his struggles with route-running during 11-on-11s, he has displayed steady hands. On the first day, Carr ran a back-shoulder fade toward the right corner of the end zone. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo lofted the ball, and Carr snagged it over rookie cornerback Will Likely, drawing one of the loudest cheers of the day.


More on him: Carr can sing, play piano, and was active in school plays in high school. He sang the national anthem before Benicia High School’s homecoming game in 2011. He advanced to the 2012 California state finals in Poetry out Loud, a competition in which contestants recite their poems through dramatization. He also played the lead role in “Beauty and the Beast” during his senior year.

“The arts are tons of fun,” Carr said. “With the piano, I like songwriting and much of that is improvising. But on top of that, it is kind of an escape, and something that relaxes me.”

■ His freshman year at Northwestern, he sang a mashup of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” with John Legend’s “Ordinary People,” while playing the piano in a talent show. His five-minute performance earned first place.

■ He was a walk-on at Northwestern, but earned a scholarship prior to the 2015 season.

■ He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and a master’s in management studies.

Read Brad Almquist’s full profile of Carr for the Globe here.

Adam Butler, defensive tackle

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Road unis #AnchorDown

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Height/weight: 6-5/300. College: Vanderbilt. Hometown: Duncanville, Texas.

College stats: He started in all 13 games for the Commodores last season, recording 31 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks. All of his sacks came against SEC opponents.

Highlights in training camp: He has earned reps with the first team after consistently performing through this point in camp. He has shown prowess at the goal line, taking up space in the middle. In the second day of practice with the Jaguars, Butler laid the hit of the day, tackling running back Leonard Fournette. He also possesses the versatility along the defensive line that Belichick values.


More on him: Butler likes to sing. He enjoys listening to George Strait, and sang “Amarillo” on a college football podcast a few years ago.

■ He is a descendant of Edna Gladney, who was a Texas children’s rights campaigner and the subject of 1940s film “Blossoms in the Dust.”

■ Bill Belichick attended Vanderbilt’s pro day earlier this year, but Butler did not have a good first rep during a bag drill. “Oh my gosh,” he said. “I mean, arguably the greatest coach in the history of the NFL [is here] and I freaking messed up the drill. I couldn’t believe it.”

■ In seventh grade, Butler was on his middle school’s team, but the coaches told him he wasn’t good enough or smart enough to play.

“I remember one night I was sitting down in my room crying because I wanted to quit,” he said in a 2014 interview. “I felt like I really did suck based on the feedback from the coaches because they’re supposed to be the ones evaluating you and letting you know if you’re good or not.”

After a frank conversation in his room that night, Butler’s parents, Kim and Clarence, who served in the Air Force for two decades, had a word with the coaches.

“My dad, he came in the room and asked what was wrong, and I told him I wanted to quit, and what the coaches had to say to me, and why I wasn’t playing. I remember he and my mom after the [next] game probably stayed about two hours. I could hear them arguing with the coaches saying how much potential I had,” Butler said in 2014.

■ He went on to earn first-team all-district honors twice for Duncanville High School. He loved his high school so much, he got the mascot, a Panther, tattooed on his arm.

“It changed my life,” he said in 2014. “I loved the coaching staff at that high school. They actually took me in and shaped me and molded me into the player I am today. They actually sat down with me and worked with me, made sure I knew what I was doing and made sure I understood the game plan.”

■ Butler has an affinity for Pokemon, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z.

“I play Pokemon every day,” Butler said in 2014. “Every day. I don’t miss a beat whether it’s late at night, before I go to sleep after I’ve studied film, made sure I’m prepared for the next day. I play for a good 30 minutes; then I go to sleep. I’m really into Pokemon.”

■ After a rib-eating contest against North Carolina State before a bowl game in 2013, Butler was moved from offensive line to defensive line. Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop was impressed by Butler’s fire when defending his team to the judges of the contest for what he thought to be an unfair ruling.

“When I stood up and took charge for my group because I didn’t think that the judgment was fair on the contest, [Shoop] liked that, so he said, ‘Bring him over. I want that attitude on my defense.’ My career started from there,” he said.

Harvey Langi, defensive end/linebacker

Harvey Langi played linebacker, defensive end, and fullback at BYU.
Harvey Langi played linebacker, defensive end, and fullback at BYU.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Height/weight: 6-2/252. College: BYU. Hometown: South Jordan, Utah.

College stats: In his final season at BYU, Langi recorded 57 tackles, five for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, and two pass breakups.

Highlights in training camp: Langi has earned reps with the first-team defense. He has shown versatility, tasked with helping fill the role Rob Ninkovich has played in the past, and asserted himself in one-on-one matchups, including blasting the Jaguars’ Jeremiah Poutasi twice on Tuesday, the second time putting him on his butt.

More on him: A running back in high school, Langi helped Brigham (Utah) win back-to-back state titles as a junior and senior, and rushed for more than 4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his prep career.

■ Langi was one of three players featured in the documentary “In Football We Trust,” which was screened at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Over four years, it documents the lives of three Polynesian football players in the Salt Lake City area trying to overcome adversity and challenges through their football pursuits.

■ He began his college football career as a running back at Utah, seeing action in 11 games as a true freshman. He carried the ball 13 times for 70 yards. After his freshman year, he went on a two-year mission before transferring to BYU.

“There was a lot of spiritual things and personal things,” Langi said in a 2014 interview. “I feel like this is the best place for me to succeed as an athlete and as a man.”

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Whatever position, football is football 💯

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■ There was some confusion surrounding Langi’s transfer to BYU. When he made his intentions to transfer known, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham was not going to release him. But there was a twist.

“BYU will counter that because Langi graduated early from Bingham and enrolled at the U. in January,” The Deseret News’s Vai Sikahema wrote in 2014. “His Letter of Intent was either never signed or never filed, therefore Langi isn’t bound contractually to return to the U. BYU believes such a loophole essentially makes Langi a free agent and fair game.”

Langi suited up for the Cougars that fall, switching to linebacker out of a team need days before camp started.

“I wanted to be where I could best help the team and they feel like middle linebacker is the best fit for me,” he said in 2014. “It’s fun trying to learn it. It’s exciting. There are a lot of guys who are very hungry for the ball, who are very hyped. It’s been a little different but football is football. You have to be coachable and work on getting better.”

■ He moved to defensive end before his final season at BYU. He also lined up at fullback for the Cougars.

■ He was named defensive MVP of the Poinsettia Bowl last season.

Globe correspondent Brad Almquist contributed to this report. Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.