Potential Patriot T.J. Hockenson gets emotional when talking about Ferentz coaches, who are close with Bill Belichick

Ryan Hannable
March 01, 2019 - 6:07 pm

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Patriots certainly will be looking at tight ends in the 2019 draft, and one of the best likely will stand out to Bill Belichick in a big way.

Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson got emotional at the podium Friday afternoon when asked about the impact of Kirk Ferentz and Brian Ferentz on his career. Kirk is the head coach, while Brian is the offensive coordinator. Both are very close with Belichick, including Brian spending four years with New England, including the final year as the tight ends coach.

“I can’t say enough good things about the Ferentzes. They’ve put me in this position. I love them to death," Hockenson said, while tearing up. "Coach Brian Ferentz has taught me a lot. Coach Kirk Ferentz is a mentor of mine, the person I strive to be. Just being part of that program is really special to me. They definitely talked about Coach Belichick in the same culture. The culture that they’ve built at Iowa is so special.

“We all look up to the Patriots. Obviously they are the highest level and they are doing what they do at the highest level. Any team that I’m able to go to that’s what I’m going to be looking for is do things at the highest level as a team, as an organization. So there are obviously a lot of good things that come out the Patriots.”

James Ferentz, the son of Kirk and brother of Brian, has been an offensive lineman with the Patriots the last two seasons.

Hockenson may be the best overall tight end in the draft, as he is a dominant blocker, but also a dynamic pass catcher. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder caught 49 passes for 760 yards and six touchdowns this past season. 

He's expected to be the top, or close to, tight end selected in the draft, so if the Patriots want to select him, they may need to trade up to do so. But, with 12 selections overall, it's certainly possible.

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