Patriots have former rugby player/discus thrower Lawrence Okoye in for tryout

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye, a converted Olympic discus thrower and rugby player from England, was one of nine free agents that the New England Patriots had in for tryouts at Gillette Stadium over the last 24 hours.

Okoye has a unique background; this was his third season in which he was attempting to make the 49ers' roster, as Paul Gutierriez of ESPN.com detailed. He spent the last two years on the team's practice squad.

Former Bills backup quarterback Jeff Tuel, who once drew attention for his scout-team work of Tom Brady, was also among the group of players in town.

The others were:

  • WR Marquez Clark (Central Oklahoma)

  • CB Justin Coleman (Tennessee) -- signed

  • TE/FB Joe Don Duncan (Dixie State)

  • FB Joey Iosefa (Hawaii)

  • DE Derrick Lott (Chattanooga)

  • WR Nathan Palmer (Northern Illinois)

  • DT Jimmy Staten (Middle Tennessee)