Mesko wins Ron Burton Community Service Award

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Mesko wins Ron Burton Community Service Award

FOXBORO -- Zoltan Mesko is your winner of the 2012 Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award.
The third-year punter addressed reporters Monday night at Charitable Foundation's Kickoff Gala at Gillette Stadium.
"Mr. Kraft pulled me aside during practice and told me. It's just a very humbling experience to be a part of such a lot of guys that have been we have Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo and the things they stand for. They're leaders in themselves. The Kraft family -- I can't thank them enough for putting forth that platform for us to be able to serve the community and to make a positive difference. Mr. Kraft, Myra Kraft -- exemplars in the community. I'm very, very humbled to be even a little grain of salt in the deal."
Kraft praised his player, saying the honor was well-deserved.
Zoltan is one of the best punters in the league, but he may be the leagues current MVP for his contributions in the community, said Kraft. In the 18 years since we established the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, perhaps no player has accomplished more in the community in such a short amount of time.
From the team's press release:
Last season, Mesko was one of the Patriots players who spearheaded the season-long Celebrate Volunteerism campaign, visiting Boys & Girls Clubs, hospitals, veterans homes, home makeover events and more to promote the benefits of volunteering. In October 2011, he joined several of his teammates in a one-day playground build for a Providence, R.I. community. Mesko also granted wishes for eleven youth from across the country who chose to meet Patriots players as part of the Make-A-Wish program.
During the holidays, Mekso was determined to make the season special for as many children possible by participating in every Patriots holiday activity. He helped children from homeless shelter programs select gifts during Patriots Gifts from the Gridiron and played games with more than 250 children from Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the Patriots Community Holiday Party. During the offseason, Mesko took it upon himself to organize a karaoke fundraiser, called Zolioke, where more than a dozen of his teammates sang karaoke, participated in live and silent auctions and interacted with pediatric patients to benefit Childrens Hospital Boston.
To Mesko, there's really nothing to it.
"I just feel like, the stage we're put on, we have this social responsibility to give back. Because when you look at it, there's a lot of good people out there that do a tremendous amount of things, but if I don't do it now, when am I going to start? If I don't do it, then who's going to do it? You've got to have that mentality, to be the first one to take action."

Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

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Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room. 

"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."

Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.

During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday. 

As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.

PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

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PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court. 

After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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