New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a long and rich history of turning little-known prospects into franchise-game changers.
Tom Brady (the No. 199 pick in 2000), Julian Edelman (the No. 232 pick of 2009) and undrafted cornerback Malcolm Butler are just a handful of Belichick’s best hidden gem finds. Now, Belichick is seeing if a star athlete from another sport can make an impact in Foxborough.
According to a report from Doug Kyed of A to Z Sports, the Patriots have brought in Premier Lacrosse League star Dox Aitken for their rookie minicamp tryouts. Aitken, who starred in college for the Virginia Cavaliers, plays on the Atlas Lacrosse Club:
‘The Patriots are hosting former Virginia lacrosse player Dox Aitken on a tryout at rookie minicamp, a source told A to Z Sports. Aitken, who was listed at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds in his Virginia bio, had a stint playing football at Villanova as a wide receiver in 2021. He was a USILA and Inside Lacrosse first-team All-American during his time at Virginia.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has long had an affinity for lacrosse. Former Penn State lacrosse player Chris Hogan played in New England from 2016 to 2018. Belichick’s son, linebackers coach Stephen Belichick, played lacrosse at Rutgers. Patriots cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino played lacrosse at Johns Hopkins and in Major League Lacrosse.”
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It was noted by Kyed that the Atlas Lacrosse Club was founded by one of Belichick’s friends in Paul Rabil. Kyed also added that Aitken was a versatile football player in high school who played punter, safety and receiver.
The Patriots have absolutely nothing to lose in giving a star lacrosse player a tryout here in rookie minicamp. But given Belichick’s history of unlocking hidden gems, we really shouldn’t be all that surprised if Aitken a) makes the roster and b) ends up being an impactful player.
New England is coming off its second losing season (8-9) in three years. Prior to 2020, the team had only missed the playoffs three times in Belichick’s first 20 years as the head coach (2000, 2002 and 2008).WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.