NFL: First-round draft pick Cole Strange thought Patriots call was a prank

Cole Strange didn't quite believe that he was being drafted to the New England Patriots until he heard the voice of Bill Belichick himself.

New England Patriots' first-round pick Cole Strange feared that the call he received on night one of the draft was a prank.

Strange's father, Greg, has related how they had to ask the caller if they were really from the New England Patriots, which prompted a surprise voice to take over the call.

His fears were allayed once he heard the distinctive tones of the voice of iconic New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

The coach enjoyed a chuckle with the new recruit.

Greg Strange told Masslive.com: "(Cole) said, 'Sir, I don't mean to be disrespectful at all, but I've gotta know because I've got some crazy friends. Is this a prank?' The guy said, 'Hold on just a second.' And then Bill Belichick got on the phone and of course, unless you've been under a rock for the last 20 years, you know Bill Belichick's voice.

"As soon as I heard Bill Belichick's voice, Cole and I both started screaming and hugging and acting crazy.

"Probably saying a bunch of inappropriate stuff.

"We were so excited.

"To his credit, you've gotta love the guy, Belichick is sitting there and when we got through, the first break he had, he said, 'Hey Cole, you've gotta act like you've been there, man.' It was classic to us. We absolutely loved it."

Strange graduated with a Bachelors degree in Psychology from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, having also distinguished himself on the gridiron for the Mocs.

Not the only ones laughing

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay was seen laughing when the Patriots picked Strange but later explained that he was chuckling to himself as he was keen on the left guard.

McVay laughed as he couldn't believe he thought they would have a shot at a prospect like Strange with their draft position.

Strange strengthened his position in the 2022 NFL Draft by accepting the extra year with the Chattanooga Mocs that he was eligible for after turning out during the coronavirus-ravaged 2020 collegiate season.

He was the 29th pick overall in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and is now close to realising his dream of playing in the NFL.

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