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New Patriots S Obi Melifonwu excited to join hometown team

Ryan Hannable
November 10, 2018 - 8:50 am

FOXBORO — The Patriots seemed interested in UConn safety Obi Melifonwu prior to the 2017 NFL draft, but he was selected by the Raiders in the second round, taking away his chance to be selected by his hometown team.

While he didn’t get drafted by the Patriots, Melifonwu will now get the chance to play for them, as he was signed by the team this week following the Raiders releasing him.

Due to injuries, Melifonwu has only played in five career games, but when speaking Friday said he’s fully healthy now.

The Grafton, Mass. native discussed what the feeling was like to join the Patriots.

“Everybody was excited, especially my family,” Melifonwu said. “Growing up here, I’ve been a huge Patriots fan. So, everybody’s excited. Everybody’s ready to watch me play.” 

He added: “Being able to drive 40 minutes to home is something that makes me happy, makes my family happy and definitely makes my friends happy.”

Melifonwu hadn’t been to a Patriots game in his life until last Sunday night when he was in attendance for the Packers game.

“I didn’t go to any [growing up], but I did get a chance to go to the Green Bay Packers game,” he said. “It’s been a dream my whole life to go to a Patriots game, so I’m glad I got to fill that before I got to play here.” 

While he said he doesn’t know what his exact role will be, Bill Belichick indicated it may be more than just safety given his athleticism.

For now, it seems Melifonwu is just excited to be part of a winning team.

“It’s been great’’ he said. “It just seemed like a good fit — the coaches, the players, everything they’re doing here. I wanted to be a part of a winning team. Vets are bringing me along, younger guys are bringing me along. It’s just a great environment to be a part of.’’

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