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PATRIOTS 2018 PREVIEW

A few fascinating facts about the fellows in Foxborough

(Photo illustration by Tommy Piatchek/Globe Staff)

You know the Patriots players pretty well, so we searched for some details you may not have known.

QUARTERBACKS

NO. 2 BRIAN HOYER

Attended original Browns franchise’s final game in Cleveland (in 1995) as a fan, then won first three starts as a Brown (in 2013).

NO. 12 TOM BRADY

Has led the Patriots to 54 come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter but actually earned the nickname “Comeback Kid” while at Michigan.

RUNNING BACKS

NO. 26 SONY MICHEL

His brother, Marken, was a receiver at UMass for four years and now plays for the Calgary Stampeders.

NO. 28 JAMES WHITE

Has the quickest feet on the field and quickest smile in the locker room. His laugh is infectious.

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NO. 33 JEREMY HILL

Besides his moves on the field, the ex-Bengal is an accomplished dancer and has the “Ickey Shuffle” in his repertoire.

NO. 34 REX BURKHEAD

Was named after basketball star Rex Chapman, whom Burkhead’s father played against in high school.

TIGHT ENDS

Rob Gronkowski (left) and Jacob Hollister.
Rob Gronkowski (left) and Jacob Hollister.(Steven Senne/AP)

NO. 47 JACOB HOLLISTER

His clothing catalog is a big hit with the kids.

NO. 83 DWAYNE ALLEN

Has said he feels “younger” and more comfortable this season; call it the “Gronkowski effect.”

NO. 87 ROB GRONKOWSKI

His great-grandfather, Ignatius, was a member of the US Olympic cycling team at the 1924 Paris Games.

FULLBACK

NO. 46 JAMES DEVELIN

One-time member of the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz (Arena League), he is meaner than a junkyard dog when it comes to protecting his pups.

OFFENSIVE LINE

NO. 60 C DAVID ANDREWS

Has been a rock since he got here as rookie free agent, just the third to start a season opener for Belichick (Jace Sayler in 2001 and Kenbrell Thompkins in 2013).

NO. 61 RT MARCUS CANNON

All-Mountain West star at Texas Christian, also excelled as a shot putter for the Horned Frogs.

NO. 62 LG JOE THUNEY

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Can decipher blitzing patterns in a snap and solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute.

NO. 63 G BRIAN SCHWENKE

This 6-foot-3-inch, 310-pounder lived in Hawaii for 10 years as a kid (his father was in the Navy) and was an avid surfer.

NO. 68 OT LaADRIAN WADDLE

Versatile pass protector; it’s not stretch to say he’s among the most reliable swing tackles in the league.

NO. 69 RG SHAQ MASON

Snubbed by the NFL Combine, he’s now one of the best young road-grading guards in the league. He’s newly rich, too.

NO. 75 OL TED KARRAS

From a famous football family, he’s famously fierce on the field and famously friendly off it. Big Taylor Swift fan.

NO. 77 LT TRENT BROWN

Massive mountain of a man, he has big shoes to fill. So far, he has. Brown allowed just one sack on 415 pass-blocking snaps in 2017.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Phillip Dorsett.
Phillip Dorsett.(Michael Swensen for The Boston Globe)

NO. 11 JULIAN EDELMAN

Was given the opportunity to play QB for BC Lions of the CFL. Chose the NFL. Good move.

NO. 13 PHILLIP DORSETT

Works out in the offseason with his big sister Briana, who is a bodybuilder and fitness model.

NO. 15 CHRIS HOGAN

Once faced off against Patriots safeties coach Steve Belichick in a college lacrosse game when Hogan was at Penn State and Belichick at Rutgers.

NO. 16 CHAD HANSEN

Had 92 catches (11 of them for touchdowns) in his final season at Cal, where he walked on after leaving Idaho State.

NO. 17 RILEY McCARRON

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Occupies corner locker previously owned by Danny Amendola. Is partial to short-sleeve hoodies like Danny Amendola. Now gets a chance to make a name for himself.

NO. 84 CORDARRELLE PATTERSON

His 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in 2013 is tied for the longest play in NFL history.

DEFENSIVE LINE

NO. 58 DL KEIONTA DAVIS

Two-time All-American at Tennessee-Chattanooga, he was one of the surprise stars of the summer and is a prime breakout candidate.

NO. 70 DT ADAM BUTLER

Started college career as an offensive lineman and has said his roots on that side of the ball helped him immensely with the switch.

NO. 71 DT DANNY SHELTON

The big man in the middle’s middle name is “Saileupumoni” and means “search for the truth.’’ “Shelton” means “search for the ball carrier.”

NO. 90 DT MALCOM BROWN

A self-described “old soul,” Brown is lauded by his younger teammates for his tips on the field and in the film room.

NO. 91 DE DEATRICH WISE JR.

Perhaps the most enthusiastic Patriot on and off the field. He is a man who is clearly happy in his work.

NO. 93 DL LAWRENCE GUY

Once made a snowman in Las Vegas at 2 a.m. It melted by 7 a.m. Now he melts ballcarriers.

NO. 94 DE ADRIAN CLAYBORN

Hasn’t let the nerve condition Erb’s palsy affect his career; the eight-year vet has 30 sacks.

NO. 95 DE DEREK RIVERS

Had New England roots (born in Maine) long before being drafted by Patriots. Had 56 tackles for losses in college.

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NO. 96 DL GENEO GRISSON

A lifetime defender, he dazzled during tight end drills at his pro day and has developed into one of the team’s top special teamers.

NO. 98 DL TREY FLOWERS

Nicknamed “Technique” for his textbook proficiency on the field. There’s a captaincy in this quiet leader’s future.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Jason McCourty (30), Devin McCourty (32) and Duron Harmon (21).
Jason McCourty (30), Devin McCourty (32) and Duron Harmon (21).(Elise Amendola/AP)

NO. 21 S DURON HARMON

Huge “Hey Arnold!” fan, he has 14 career interceptions, with 10 coming in fourth quarters.

NO. 23 S PATRICK CHUNG

If he’s not on the football field, you can usually find this avid cook in the kitchen.

NO. 24 CB STEPHON GILMORE

Shutdown corner collected more than 3,000 yards from scrimmage and 37 TDs as a dual-threat QB his senior year in high school.

NO. 25 CB ERIC ROWE

Played safety for three seasons at Utah before switching to corner for his senior year.

NO. 27 CB J.C. JACKSON

He told SB Nation in April that he will be a “shutdown corner” in the NFL. Making the 53 is a huge first step.

NO. 30 DB JASON McCOURTY

10-year veteran is coming off one of his best seasons (14 passes defensed). Looks strikingly similar to No. 32.

NO. 31 CB JONATHAN JONES

One of the fastest players on the club, he was a national champion in the 110-meter hurdles in high school, clocking a 13.72.

NO. 32 S DEVIN McCOURTY

One of the best safeties in the league, he owns the best t-shirt selection on the team. Looks strikingly similar to No. 30.

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NO. 35 CB KEION CROSSEN

Another guy who can flat-out fly. Won the Southern Conference’s 100-meter dash in 2016 for the Western Carolina Catamounts.

LINEBACKERS

NO. 50 NICHOLAS GRIGSBY

Nicknamed “Freezer” (hey, he likes ice) and is probably pound for pound the most devastating hitter on this roster.

NO. 51 JA’WHAUN BENTLEY

First three-time captain in Purdue history, he majored in organizational leadership. A natural fit here.

NO. 52 ELANDON ROBERTS

First caught Bill Belichick’s eye when the coach was scouting Navy QB Keenan Reynolds. The Houston linebacker kept “showing up” play after play, the coach said.

NO. 53 KYLE VAN NOY

Ziggy Ansah’s college roommate at BYU lettered in football, basketball, baseball, and track in high school.

NO. 54 DONT’A HIGHTOWER

Rushed for more than 1,000 yards in four games his sophomore year in high school after the team’s starting back quit.

SPECIAL TEAMS

NO. 3 K STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI

A scholarship pitcher at Memphis, he walked on to football team and just might be the best golfer in this locker room.

NO. 6 P RYAN ALLEN

Only player to win consecutive Ray Guy Awards, he’s had just two punts blocked in five seasons.

NO. 18 ST MATTHEW SLATER

Has one career reception (for 46 yards) but seven straight Pro Bowl selections.

NO. 36 ST BRANDON KING

Unofficial team barber (actually the title might be official), he can’t be blocked solo on punt coverage and has a penchant for devastating open-field hits.

NO. 43 ST NATE EBNER

One of seven players to participate in the Olympics (rugby) and win a pro football title. Jim Thorpe and Bob Hayes also are in that group.

NO. 49 LS JOE CARDONA

Like teammate Chris Hogan, Cardona was a lacrosse standout in high school before arriving at the Naval Academy.


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