The New England Patriots have recognized Josh Boyce, Joe Vellano, Jake Bequette and Tavon Wilson for their efforts during the 2014 season, naming them practice players of the year.
The four were first honored in January.
Boyce, a 2013 fourth-round pick by way of Texas Christian, was waived and signed to New England’s practice squad in September. The wideout proceeded to spend the first 16 weeks of the regular season in the 10-man roster, before being elevated to 53-man roster for the finale versus the Buffalo Bills. The 23-year-old played in nine games during his rookie year with New England, catching nine passes and returning nine kickoffs for a total of 335 yards.
Vellano, a 2013 undrafted free agent, played in five regular-season games for the Patriots in 2014, registering three tackles and a start in the opener against the Miami Dolphins. The 26-year-old Maryland product was waived in October and re-signed to the practice squad, later resurfacing on the active roster prior to the AFC Championship Game. Vellano had previously played in all 16 games for the Patriots during his rookie season, starting eight on the way to notching 54 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Bequette, a 2012 third-round selection out of Arkansas, was waived during the final roster cuts in August and returned on the practice squad. The 26-year-old defensive end spent the entirety of the 2014 season there, after appearing in eight games through his first two seasons with the team.
Wilson, a 2012 second-round pick via Illinois, played in all 16 regular-season games for New England in 2014, notching 22 tackles and three pass deflections. The 24-year-old safety filtered into the defensive backfield in three- and four-safety personnel, and also continued to carve his niche on special teams. Wilson played in 29 games over his first two seasons with New England, intercepting five passes and returning one for his first NFL touchdown.