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Tyrone McKenzie's difficult road to the NFL has encountered another obstacle.
Boston Globe reporter Christopher L. Gasper reports McKenzie will be lost for the season because of a knee injury he suffered at rookie camp last week.
The New England Patriots drafted McKenzie in the third round, and it appeared he was on the verge of finally realizing his dream after years of sacrifice.
McKenzie played linebacker for three colleges. He started at Michigan State, transferred to Iowa State and was forced to transfer to South Florida when his mother was involved in a bad car accident and lost her home daycare business.
McKenzie worked the overnight shift at a Hampton Inn to help his recovering mother pay her bills. He kept working out and playing football.
But he will have to wait another year to play in the NFL.
McKenzie tore the anterior-cruciate ligament in his right knee on the second day of camp, ending his season before it began.
He hadn't even signed his contract yet.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick lauded McKenzie's character the day they drafted him.
"I would just say of all the players that I've talked to and we've interviewed this year and even through the years, that Tyrone is amongst the most impressive," Belichick said. "Maturity, intelligence, what he's done with the opportunities that he's had or that he's had to overcome, how he's approached them, how he's dealt with them, how he's made the most of them ...
"It hasn't been easy, yet he's continued to excel, jump over hurdles and overcome obstacles that I think would have derailed a lot of other people and/or football players. I think he's a very impressive, mature, humble young man."