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Patriots sign five rookie free agents

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed five rookie free agents today - LB Antonio Appleby, QB Brian Hoyer, DB Jamar Love, DB Marcus McClinton and OL Jermail Porter. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. These five players will join the 12 players drafted by the Patriots last weekend at a rookie mini-camp at Gillette Stadium beginning this evening. The mini-camp is closed to the public, but practices are open to credentialed media tomorrow and Saturday.

LB Antonio Appleby, 22, played in 48 games for the University of Virginia from 2005-08. The 6-foot-3-inch, 245-pound linebacker totaled 227 tackles in his collegiate career, including 16.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He also recorded an interception and six passes defensed. Last season, the Virginia Beach native played in 11 games and had a career-high 72 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss.

QB Brian Hoyer, 23, played in 39 games with 27 starts for Michigan State University from 2005-08. The 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound quarterback recorded a 16-11 record as a starter and completed 500-of-896 passes (55.8 percent) for 6,159 yards, 35 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. His 896 pass attempts rank second in school history, his 6,159 passing yards rank third, his 500 completions rank third, and his 35 touchdown passes rank sixth. He joined Jeff Smoker and Drew Stanton as the only players in school history to throw for 6,000 or more yards in their career. Hoyer was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2007 and 2008.

DB Jamar Love, 22, played in 41 games with nine starts at cornerback for the University of Arkansas from 2005-08. The 6-foot, 191-pound defensive back recorded 79 career tackles (54 solo), including six tackles for loss and three sacks in addition to 15 passes defensed. Last season, the North Little Rock, Ark. native played in nine games with six starts and finished with a career-high 39 tackles (25 solo) and eight passes defensed.

DB Marcus McClinton, 23, played in 45 games with 36 starts at free safety for the University of Kentucky from 2004-08. The 6-foot, 210-pound defensive back finished his career with 174 tackles and 10 interceptions. Last season, the Ft. Campbell, Ky. native finished third on the team with 43 tackles and tied his career high with four interceptions. As a sophomore in 2006, he tied for the NCAA lead with five forced fumbles.

OL Jermail Porter, 22, was a collegiate wrestler at Kent State, finishing with a 119-43 career record from the 2004-05 season to the 2008-09 campaign. The 6-foot-5-inch, 310-pound offensive lineman finished sixth at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 19. Porter competed as a heavyweight and earned All-American status. The Akron, Ohio native won 29 consecutive matches as a senior, and also earned NCAA bids as a sophomore (2007) and as a junior (2008). He did not play football in high school or college.

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