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Patriots rookie Ja’Whaun Bentley pays tribute to Purdue super fan Tyler Trent

Purdue fan Tyler TrentMichael Hickey/Getty Images

Patriots rookie linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley touched on the life of fellow Purdue student Tyler Trent, who died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with a rare form of bone cancer.

The 20-year-old Trent was an avid fan of the Boilermakers and his very public fight gained the national spotlight as he worked to raise awareness and money to research a cure for osteosarcoma.

Bentley, a two-time captain at Purdue, became close with Trent and his family. Trent, who was made a captain for life for the Purdue football team, attended last week’s Music City Bowl, where his beloved Boilermakers played Auburn.


“He was a hero. He was a hero to all of us,’’ said Bentley, who has been on the Patriots’ injured reserve list since Week 4. “In many ways, how he lived, he did more in his time than many of us will do in our lives. He made an impact on so many people’s lives and became worldwide. . . . During his toughest times, he was finding a way to make other people better rather than complaining about what he may have been going through, which was the worst time of his life.’’

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