The Patriots will host University of South Florida linebacker Tyrone McKenzie on a pre-draft visit that is scheduled to take place on Wednesday and Thursday, according to a league source.
The team conducted a private workout with McKenzie, who would project as an inside linebacker in the Patriots' 3-4 defense, in March.
The 6-2, 243-pound McKenzie is a tackling machine and has one of the draft's more interesting background stories.
He played at three colleges, and after his mother was left unable to work by injuries suffered in an accident he left school and was working from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. at a Hampton Inn to support her and his three sisters.
McKenzie started out at Michigan State, but was forced to leave school in the spring of 2005 to take care of his family as a hotel worker. He transferred to Iowa State and sat out the 2005 season. Returning to the field in 2006, McKenzie started all 12 games for Iowa State at middle linebacker and finished eighth in the nation in tackles per game (10.8).
He then transferred to South Florida in 2007 and did not have to sit out a season because the NCAA granted him a hardship waiver on the grounds that the transfer was to be closer to his ailing mother -- USF is 15 minutes from his family's home in Riverview, Fla. McKenzie led South Florida in tackles in 2007 playing strong-side linebacker and collecting a school-record 121 stops.
Last season, McKenzie led the Bulls in tackles again and earned first-team All-Big East honors.