Meet Danny Etling, the Patriots’ newest quarterback

Danny Etling
LSU quarterback Danny Etling (16) warms up before the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game against Notre Dame. –John Raoux / AP Photo

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Here is a closer look at Danny Etling, the Patriots’ seventh-round pick.

Overall pick: 219.

College: LSU two years, Purdue two years. Position: QB. Height/Weight: 6-3/222.

Hometown: Terre Haute, Ind. High school: South Vigo.

By the numbers: In two seasons at LSU, Etling completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 4,586 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.

At a glance: Between his time as a Tiger and Boilermaker, Etling played in four different coordinators’ offenses in college, something he said helped him learn football and to be adaptable. He has been working on his mechanics with Tom Brady’s throwing coach, Tom House.


Etling will compete for a roster spot, as the Patriots have backup Brian Hoyer under contract. If Brady remains away from Gillette Stadium for much offseason work, Etling should get extra reps as a result.

The Patriots believe they can continue to help Etling improve his mechanics. Brady, after all, is still honing his after decades of playing quarterback. It’s the intelligence and the adaptability that made Etling the choice after New England passed on so many other options at such a critical position.

Win this, and you can play football: Etling had to play tennis growing up and his mother did not want him to play football because of the sport’s physicality. So when he was in fourth grade, Etling made a bet with his mom.

“I bet my mom if I won the tournament I would get to sign up for football the next day, and I did win the tournament,’’ he said.

Etling said he played “every sport’’ as a kid, including basketball and running track.

“I think that’s actually helped a lot with my footwork and some of the lateral quickness things and movements,’’ said of his tennis-playing days.

For the food and football: Etling, who transferred to LSU after two seasons at Purdue, is one of only six players from the Midwest to sign with LSU in the last 10 recruiting classes. He quickly grew fond of the food and culture in Baton Rouge. Jambalaya became a favorite. “And king cake,’’ Etling said. “King cake is good.’’


Maddening Madden opponent: Etling is a pro at the video game Madden, once running up the score to 28-0 at the end of the first quarter when playing his guard Will Clapp.

“I might not be throwing some blocks for him if he keeps beating me like that,’’ Clapp joked in 2016.

Keep working: Etling was known at LSU for practicing yoga after he finished weightlifting, solidifying his hard-working reputation among his teammates. That helped him gain the starting job early in the 2016 season, his first with LSU after sitting out 2015 due to transfer rules.

“He prepares as hard as anybody,’’ teammate J.D. Moore said in 2016. “So the fact that he was ready when his number was called wasn’t a surprise. But I could definitely see, because it was a big environment, he came to life.’’

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Clapp said of Etling in 2016: “He has a calm presence. He doesn’t get rattled or anything like that.’’

Sign here: Etling displayed his ability with sign language in the weight room two years ago when he held a conversation with a student from the Louisiana School for the Deaf.

In the books: Etling graduated from LSU with a mass communications degree and a 3.9 GPA.

The ultimate merit badge: Etling earned his distinction as an Eagle Scout in 2013 after earning 21 merit badges and completing a beautification of the Bethany House Homeless Shelter in Terre Haute.

Connecting with Cam: Etling and LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron went to the same high school, of course decades apart. But Cameron mentored him for years.

“Cam has come back in town and worked with Danny, and Danny went out and worked with Cam when he worked for the Ravens,’’ Mark Raetz, Etling’s high school coach, said in 2015 when Etling transferred to LSU. “It’s pretty exciting they’re going to work together.’’


Injury history: Etling underwent “minor’’ back surgery last spring.


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