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Source: Patriots will work out UConn punter Cullen

04.06.10 at 12:05 pm ET

Cullen will work out for the Patriots tomorrow, according to a league source.

The Patriots are going to hold a private workout with Connecticut punter Desi Cullen Wednesday in Hartford, according to a league source.

Cullen, a 23-year-old out of Louisville, averaged 42.8 yards per punt this past season (good 28th in the country). A 6-foot, 201-pounder, he’s best described as a combo guy who can punt (he was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award), handle kickoff duties for the Huskies, as well as hold for field goals and kick some long field goals. (Here’s a quick look at some of his collegiate highlights.)

Cullen gained a measure of notoriety last season after he gave an emotional speech in the wake of the death of teammate Jasper Howard. (He led a prayer service the next evening at a candlelight memorial.) A popular player at UConn who gave himself the self-deprecating nickname “The Kentucky Hammer,” the Huskies coaching staff clearly thinks the world of Cullen — he was the first specialist named a team captain in UConn coach Randy Edsall’s 11-year tenure.

“Both my sons draw pictures of Desi at school — and not dad — so my family has really embraced him,” Connecticut’s special teams coordinator Lyndon Johnson told reporters last season. “He’s not just a player anymore for me. He is part of my family and he always will be.”

According to several draft experts, there are few punters worthy of draft consideration, but Cullen likely part of a group that includes Michigan’s Zoltan Mesko and East Carolina’s Matt Dodge, along with Fresno State’s Robert Malone and Virginia Tech’s Brent Bowden. (The Patriots have already contacted Mesko about a workout, according to

Cullen also has private workouts scheduled with the 49ers and Eagles this week.

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