By Craig Larson, Globe Staff
Nick Halloran noticed two missed calls on his phone early Tuesday morning. The 24-year-old is in the midst of finals for three graduate courses at Bentley this week, so he gets a pass for not picking up.
At 8:30, his agent, Sean Stellato, checked in again, with quite the wakeup call.
A three-year starter at tackle after his transfer from Boston College, Halloran has been invited to the Patriots' rookie minicamp that will kick off Friday in Foxborough.
"Just amazing news, not a better way to start the day," said the 6-foot-4-inch, 305-pound Somerville native, who prepped at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols.
A two-time Northeast-10 Conference first team pick for the the Falcons, Halloran started his first two seasons at right tackle, protecting the blind side for lefthanded quarterback Bryant Johnson, and then shifted over to the left side last fall with Danny Guadagnoli directing the Falcons' spread attack.
"We wanted him protecting the blindside, because in my opinion, he was the best offensive lineman in the league," said Bentley coach Thom Boerman.
"When he transferred from BC, it was a lucky day for us. And when he first came here, we told him that a pro career was still within his reach. He came to us with a pretty good skill set. His size alone stands out, and physically, he is a pretty strong kid. He was just dominant in our league."
Halloran undoubtedly made a favorable impressive at the Harvard Pro Day, March 14, where he worked out under the watchful eye of Patriots offensive line/assistant head coach Dante Scarnecchia. Only two other linemen were in attendance, guards John Collins (Roxbury Latin/Harvard) and Ryan Moores (Governor's Academy/Middlebury), who has been invited to the Falcons' rookie camp.
With Halloran the anchor up front, Bentley averaged 388 yards and 26.3 points per game in an 8-2 season in 2012, while controlling the ball for 33 minutes.
"When we needed an inch, or a yard, we went over Nick," said Bentley line coach Rob Velasquez, who believes Halloran's future is at guard, where he got his indoctrination to the college game at Boston College.
That would follow the path of former Bentley lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau, who started every game for the Cowboys in 2012, his fifth year in the league after originally being a seventh-round pick by the Panthers. Halloran also has touched base with a pair of his former teammates at BC now suiting up with the Colts, tackles Gosder Cherilus and Anthony Castonzo.
Halloran and Cherilus worked out together this winter at Mike Boyle's strength & conditioning training center in Woburn. "Gosder and I talked about technique, and just having a 'get after it attitude.' He was very helpful."
Velasquez said that Halloran nearly broke down and cried when they spoke Tuesday morning. "He said, 'This is my shot,' " said the coach.
The Patriots did not select an offensive lineman in the draft, but they reportedly have also agreed to deals with guard/tackle Josh Kline (Kent State) and center Matt Stankiewitch (Penn State).
The Patriots have not officially announced their rookie free agents, but reportedly
New Haven QB Ryan Osiecki, who owns nearly every Charger passing record, including TDs (91) and yards (9.572), has been invited to rookie camp on a tryout basis.