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This Ivy is catchy

Brown’s Farnham signs with Patriots

B. FARNHAM Morey an idol B. FARNHAM
Morey an idol
By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / May 4, 2010

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When he was growing up in Andover, Buddy Farnham idolized one particular football player. It wasn’t the NFL’s stars of the day, such as Jerry Rice or even Drew Bledsoe of his hometown Patriots — it was Sean Morey.

Morey, who grew up in Marshfield, starred as a receiver at Brown University in the late 1990s, just as Farnham’s father, Mark, had done in the late 1970s. Buddy Farnham did his four years on College Hill, a three-time All-Ivy receiver who was the conference player of the year last fall.

And like Morey, the 6-foot, 200-pound Farnham is considered a little small and perhaps a step slow.

But Farnham, like Morey, will get his first chance in the NFL with the Patriots.

The Patriots yesterday signed Farnham as a free agent; he was at Gillette Stadium last weekend during rookie minicamp on a tryout and the coaching staff liked what it saw.

Farnham recorded 74 catches for 1,003 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior; Bears coach Phil Estes said his staff tried to get the ball into his hands as much as possible, running him on reverses and using him as the primary punt and kickoff returner.

Estes isn’t surprised that Farnham impressed with New England.

“If it wasn’t there, it would have been with Tampa,’’ Estes said, mentioning the other tryout opportunity Farnham was offered. “He has a history with [Patriots quarterbacks coach, former Brown coach, and fellow Andover native] Bill O’Brien, so Billy knew of him, and he probably had the opportunity to step up for him. But it was up to Buddy to go in there and do his job.’’

Farnham put a great move on second-round pick Brandon Spikes during a one-on-one drill Saturday. Spikes was so frustrated he went right back to the front of the line for another try at another player.

Farnham finished his career at Brown with 229 receptions, sixth in Ivy history, and 2,895 receiving yards, which is seventh.

“He’s the most humble person you’ll meet.’’ Estes said. “He’ll score a touchdown and put the ball back on the ground. He emulates everything you want in a football player. He’s really a guy that has no ego. He loves the game.’’

Although Morey didn’t stick long with the Patriots, playing in two games as a rookie in 1999, he has carved out quite the career as a special teamer, with a Pro Bowl to his credit, and this fall with Seattle will be his 10th in the NFL.

Maybe Buddy Farnham can follow in his idol’s footsteps a bit longer.

Shalise Manza Young can be reached at syoung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung.

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