- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Defensive lineman Kyle Love has had an impressive rise with the Patriots.
He made the team in 2010 as a rookie free agent out of Mississippi State, overcoming the odds in doing so. Then last season, he played slightly more than 50 percent of the team's defensive snaps, beating out the likes of Albert Haynesworth and Ron Brace to earn the bulk of playing time next to Vince Wilfork.
On Wednesday, Love's emergence was recognized by his alma mater, North Clayton (Ga.) High School, when his No. 72 jersey was retired.
In high school, Love earned four varsity letters as a starter on both sides of the ball. He was an offensive lineman of the year in 2003, defensive lineman of the year in 2004, and then swept honors as both offensive lineman of the year and defensive lineman of the year in 2005.
In maintaining a grade-point average above 3.0, Love also earned a top scholar athlete award in 2005.
In retiring his jersey, North Clayton declared Wednesday "Kyle Love Day."