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Buccaneers turn to Brainerd alum to protect Tom Brady

Joel Haeg grew up in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Now he's pals with Tom Brady.

We knew we'd find a way to connect Tom Brady to Minnesota sooner or later. 

Behold, one of Brady's new bodyguards on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line is Minnesota native Joel Haeg. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 6'6'', 300-pound former Brainerd High School star has reached a deal to play alongside Brady. 

Haeg, 27, is originally from Lake Shore, Minnesota, which sits along the north/west shores of Gull Lake in the Brainerd Lakes Area. He helped Brainerd reached the state semifinals in 2009 and 2010 before going on to dominate at North Dakota State University where he was a two-time FCS All-American at right tackle. 

He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fifth round (155th overall) in 2016 and played his first four season there. Here's what the Indianapolis Star wrote about him in January. 

"Haeg had to play just 73 offensive snaps this season, the product of remarkable health on the offensive line, but his value as a versatile lineman who can play all five positions outweighs what he’ll earn on the open market, unless he’s given a chance to start somewhere."

It's still unclear if Haeg will start in Tampa Bay, but with him there it essentially means the Bucs have at least two Minnesotans on the roster, Brady being the other (obviously). 

"I love coming back here," Brady said while in Minnesota for the Super Bowl in 2018. "I've got a lot of family here. It's a great state. It's pretty unbelievable to actually be playing here. I didn't think about it at all until a couple weeks ago. I said, 'Mom, you know where the Super Bowl is?' She's like, 'Of course I do.'"

Brady's mom grew up in Browerville in western Minnesota, and as a boy the six-time Super Bowl championship spent summers in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Brady's parents got married in Minnesota in 1969. 

Anyway, good luck to a couple of Minnesotans in Tampa. 

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