It’s only been a week since the NFL draft, but some of the league’s newest players are already getting to work, with rookie mini-camps taking place this past weekend.
Former Tennessee Volunteer fullback Ben Bartholomew is one of those new players.
Bartholomew was passed over during the draft, but signed shortly after with the New England Patriots.
Vol fans and beat writers loved the fit immediately. Bartholomew is a hard worker with an upbeat attitude that will fit right into the Patriots “go to work” philosophy.
Bartholomew’s positive attitude showed right away during his first day at mini-camps with his remarks to reporters.
I’m excited to get a shot at this great organization. They have great coaches up here. I’m looking forward to working really hard. There’s a lot of good players here, I’m looking forward to competing with them and working as hard as I can to earn a spot.
Bartholomew never had a major role in the offense while at Tennessee. It wouldn’t be, however, a good idea to draw many conclusions from that statement, considering he was playing in the shadows of players like Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson, Da’Rick Rogers and Mychal Rivera.
The Nashville, TN native could line up as a tight end or full back for the Patriots, but with the depth New England has at tight end it’s very unlikely he’d see the field in that capacity. Bartholomew will likely make his impact on special teams. He could possibly see the field in some jumbo or goal-line packages.
Even with the praise we’ve heaped on Bartholomew the sad fact remains that most undrafted free agents never catch on with an NFL team.
For every Priest Holmes and Arian Foster there are hundreds of other dreams that are never made.
Bartholomew has the work ethic and determination to earn a roster spot. He’s very versatile and can help the Patriots in a lot of ways, but it will most certainly be an uphill battle. He’ll have to prove to coaches and team personnel that he’s one of the 53 best players that the Patriots could be putting on the field come September.
With Ben Bartholomew’s attitude, we’re betting he wouldn’t have it any other way.