The Patriots' latest Super Bowl trip will bring Damarius Travis back to Minnesota, where he was a standout defensive back for the Gophers.

Travis, 23, hasn't played in an NFL game since the preseason, but he said a year spent with the Patriots practice squad has helped him grow immeasurably.

Travis spends Patriots practices working with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the rest of the offense. He'll be working out with the team next week at the Vikings' Winter Park complex.

"It's awesome," Travis said this week, as the team began preparation for the Eagles. "We challenge each other every day to get better."

Travis was a ball-hawking safety and signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent.

He played in all four preseason games and made 10 tackles against the Giants in the finale. The Patriots released him when they set their 53-man roster, but added him to the practice squad.