When New England was about to sign undrafted rookie free agent Justus Tavai, his brother, Patriots linebacker Jahlani Tavai, got to be the one to deliver the good news.
"I actually got the text to tell him what was going down, so the first conversation was me telling him to get his bags ready to come to New England with me," Jahlani told Patriots.com after practice Tuesday.
"After that, there was a lot of emotions."
The duo had played together in every level of football growing up, and in college at the University of Hawaii before Justus finished his eligibility at San Diego State and Jahlani was drafted by the Detroit Lions.
The Patriots linebacker expressed excitement for his younger brother back in April, as Justus was gearing up for the pre-draft process. To end up in the same organization was just a dream at that point, but one that's become a reality this spring.
There's still a long way to go for Justus and all new players who joined the team this offseason. Before any roster decisions are made, they're not taking this time together for granted.
"I played with him in college and high school, pop warner, and now hopefully I get to have some reps with him whether it's in the preseason if he makes it – I can't really speak to the future, but that's a dream and a goal that we've always put out there for not just myself and him, but my other brothers," Jahlani said.
"I am just happy as hell to be able to see someone in front of me with long hair and our last name."
Jahlani's advice for his little brother? To treat every rep like his last, and importantly, to stay healthy.
But the younger Tavai is helping out his older brother as well. Jahlani mentioned in Tuesday's media availability that communication on defense was an aspect he wanted to improve on. Getting his brother up to speed has been good practice.
"Right now, I'm just trying to make sure he's on the same page, and that goes back to the communication part," Jahlani said. "If I can teach him, a rookie, then I can teach anyone and make sure that all 11 of us out there on the field are on the same page."
Both brothers understand that the NFL is a business, and they're only controlling what they can control.
The Patriots, however, have set a precedent for having sets of brothers find success on defense. Like Devin and Jason McCourty, Jahlani hopes to achieve the same with Justus.
"It feels like a dream," Jahlani said. "A lot of times you have to pinch yourself because it's two of us. We're grateful because the Patriots have shown that before where they've had brothers and they've been successful. We just hope that we can do the same thing, but right now (it's still early) in training camp."