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Jun 5, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots line backer Terez Hall (68) walks on to the field before mandatory minicamp at the Gillette Stadium practice field. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

Professional athletes growing up to play for their favorite teams. It’s such a Hollywood cliché at this point it’s hard to imagine it could happen in reality. However, Patriots second-year linebacker Terez Hall is living that dream.

“When I grew up, this was my favorite team,” Hall told reporters on Monday, when asked what he remembers from his pre-draft meeting. “I’m looking at all the coaches – I knew everyone on the coaching staff. I knew them when they were players. I knew Coach Bill – I watched the whole reign, all the Super Bowls.”

Hall is from Lithonia, Georgia, which is just outside of Atlanta. So his affinity for the Patriots is more due to dominance than geography. He was six years old when Belichick and the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in February 2002. When the Patriots beat his hometown Falcons with a 28-3 comeback in February 2017, he was a sophomore at the University of Missouri.

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Having followed the Patriots for most of his life, Hall said he had an idea of what to expect going into his interview. “The thing about it is, I had to be on my Ps and Qs about it, man,” Hall said. “Just like me organizing myself, being firm answering the questions, and stuff like that. Just showing them that I know what I’m talking about. That I’m here to play. It was a talk interview. That’s the main thing I got out of it. They wanted to ask questions about, like, how everything was going. They were asking to see if I knew about football or not.”

Clearly, the Patriots thought he knew football. They didn’t end up drafting Hall, but signed him as a UDFA in 2019. He spent the entirely of his rookie season on the Patriots’ practice squad, before being elevated to the main roster in early November. Since that time he’s played in six games – starting two – recording 33 tackles and two pass breakups.

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So like most Patriots fans, Hall was asked his favorite player from the team’s two decades of dominance.

“It was Jamie Collins, man. Jamie Collins was my favorite player,” Hall said. “I got an opportunity to play with him last year, and he solidified everything I thought.”

“If you go back and look at 2015 when I was in high school,” Hall added, “you’ll see I’ve got pictures of Jamie Collins I tweeted out when I was younger. It’s just so crazy I got an opportunity to play with him.”

Folks, he’s not lying.

Collins’ early run in New England is among the best from a Patriots’ linebacker in the Belichick era. If Hall can become close to the player he looked up to as a kid, he’ll help the team he rooted for as a kid win some football games. That’s the NFL dream.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com