Ben Bartch
refer to caption
Bartch after the 2019 Johnnie-Tommie game
No. 78 – San Francisco 49ers
Position:Guard
Personal information
Born: (1998-07-22) July 22, 1998 (age 25)
McMinnville, Oregon, U.S.
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:315 lb (143 kg)
Career information
High school:Blanchet Catholic
(Salem, Oregon)
College:Saint John's (MN) (2016–2019)
NFL draft:2020 / Round: 4 / Pick: 116
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • First-team All-MIAC (2019)
  • Second-team All-MIAC (2018)
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Games played:46
Games started:20
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Ben Bartch (born July 22, 1998) is an American football guard for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Saint John's (MN).

Early years

Bartch grew up in McMinnville, Oregon and attended Blanchet Catholic School where he played receiver, tight end, and linebacker.[1] Although he was tall, Bartch was also very skinny and was primarily a backup receiver for Blanchet, not yet discovered for his blocking abilities; as a senior, Bartch was billed at 195 pounds and only a recorded a handful of receptions and tackles.[2] He was not recruited after high school and chose to play at Saint John's, a Division III program. He was also a 4-year letterer in basketball at Blanchet.

College career

Bartch began his collegiate career playing tight end. Entering Saint John's, Bartch was billed at 220 pounds, appearing in one game as a freshman. As a sophomore, Bartch was the team's third-string tight end, catching four passes for 43 yards and one touchdown, mostly contributing to special teams.[3]

His coaches noticed his blocking ability, with one calling it "a hidden natural-born talent" and suggested he move to the offensive line going into his junior season. In order to gain weight, Bartch consumed a protein shake daily consisting of 7 scrambled eggs, a tub of cottage cheese, quick grits, peanut butter, bananas, and Gatorade, growing from 240 pounds to 275 in just the summer. He eventually reached 308 pounds with this method.[4][5] Bartch became the Johnnies starting left tackle and was named second-team All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team at the end of the season.[6][7] As a senior, Bartch was named first-team All-MIAC and a consensus first-team All-American by D3Football.com.[8] Considered a prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft, Bartch was invited to participate in the 2020 Senior Bowl.[9] A rival coach wrote that Ben Bartch was "the best D3 player I had ever seen" and that he was "by far the best player on that team" despite playing alongside two Power Five transfers at Saint John's, including a quarterback from Penn State.[10]

Bartch also competed on Saint John's track and field team in shot put and discus throw events.[11]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
6 ft 5+34 in
(1.97 m)
309 lb
(140 kg)
32+78 in
(0.84 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
All values from NFL Combine[12][13]

Jacksonville Jaguars

Bartch was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.[14] He became the first Saint John's player to be drafted since 1974 and the first player to be drafted from any Division III program since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Ali Marpet in 2015.[15] Bartch made his NFL debut on September 13, 2020, in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, playing five snaps on special teams.[16] He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Jaguars on December 15, 2020,[17] and activated on January 5, 2021.[18]

Bartch entered the 2022 season as the Jaguars starting left guard. He suffered a dislocated knee in Week 5 and was placed on injured reserve on October 11, 2022.[19]

Bartch returned as the starting left guard in 2023, but was benched in Week 4. He was waived on October 31, 2023, after the Jaguars traded for Ezra Cleveland.[20] On November 3, Bartch was re-signed to the practice squad.

San Francisco 49ers

On November 21, 2023, Bartch was signed by the San Francisco 49ers to their active roster off of the Jaguars' practice squad.[21]

References

  1. ^ Crepea, James (February 28, 2020). "Dayton's Ben Bartch vying to go from Division 3 St. John's (Minn.) to NFL". The Oregonian. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "Ben Bartch, Maxpreps".
  3. ^ Auman, Greg (February 26, 2020). "Tight end-turned-O-lineman Ben Bartch goes from 250 to 309, from Div. III to NFL". The Athletic. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  4. ^ Gartland, Dan (February 27, 2020). "D-III Draft Prospect Ben Bartch Drank an Unholy Concoction to Pack on 60 Pounds". SI.com. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  5. ^ Labbe, Dan (February 26, 2020). "How offensive lineman Ben Bartch used a gag-inducing smoothie and YouTube to reach the NFL combine". Cleveland.com. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "Bartch, Munoz named to Allstate AFCA Good Works Team". MIACAthletics.com. September 12, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  7. ^ "On eve of season opener, pro scouts eye Johnnies' quarterback, offensive lineman". St. Cloud Times. September 6, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  8. ^ "St. John's tackle Ben Bartch measures up against the best at Senior Bowl". Star Tribune. January 31, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  9. ^ Melo, Justin (February 18, 2020). "Meet Ben Bartch, the latest small-school Senior Bowl star". Draft Wire. USA Today. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  10. ^ "Post Draft Q&A: An offensive line coach explains Ben Bartch's potential with the Jaguars". Big Cat Country.
  11. ^ "Ben Bartch could be the Redskins' answer at LT". HogsHaven.com. SB Nation. April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  12. ^ "Ben Bartch Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  13. ^ "2020 Draft Scout Ben Bartch, Saint Johns (MN) NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  14. ^ "Jacksonville Selects St. John's OL Ben Bartch Early in 4th Round". WDIO.com. April 25, 2020. Archived from the original on June 26, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "St. John's offensive lineman Ben Bartch drafted by Jacksonville in fourth round". Star Tribune. April 25, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  16. ^ "Jaguars rookies handle heavy workload in victory over Colts". The Florida Times-Union. September 13, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  17. ^ Simmons, Myles (December 15, 2020). "Jaguars place Ben Bartch on COVID-19 list". NBCSports.com. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  18. ^ "Jaguars' Ben Bartch: Activated from COVID list". CBSSports.com. January 5, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  19. ^ "Jaguars place G Ben Bartch, OLB K'Lavon Chaisson on injured reserve". Jaguars Wire. USA Today. October 11, 2022.
  20. ^ "Jaguars waive OL Ben Bartch to make room for OL Ezra Cleveland". Jaguars Wire. USA Today. October 31, 2023.
  21. ^ "49ers Sign OL Bartch; Place S Hufanga on Injured Reserve". 49ers.com. November 21, 2023. Retrieved November 21, 2023.