INDIANAPOLIS — One of the best stories in the 2020 NFL draft is the rise of Ben Bartch of Division III St. John’s in Minnesota, who transformed his body over the past two years and has gone from an unknown tight end to a draftable prospect this year at left tackle.
Bartch impressed at the Senior Bowl against a higher caliber of competition and now has positioned himself as a possible top-75 pick, assuming he continues his upward trajectory with a strong week here at the NFL scouting combine.
But how Bartch has elevated to this plateau, one might argue, also makes him one of the worst stories of the 2020 NFL draft. Or at the very least, one of the worst-tasting.
How far would you go to chase your dreams? Would you, like Bartch, drink a daily concoction made up of some of the strangest ingredients to put on the weight needed to be an offensive lineman?
Bartch checked in at the combine this week at 308 pounds, and that’s around the weight he has tried to maintain the past two-plus years as an offensive lineman. In order to gain the 70-plus pounds necessary, he was forced to spend an entire summer — at 5 a.m.! — drinking a blended beverage comprised of:
a “big tub” of cottage cheese
Imagine downing five of those Cholesterol Coladas a week.
“I would throw it all in [to a blender] and plug my nose,” Bartch said Wednesday at the combine. “I’d gag sometimes, but that’s what you have to do.”
Well, it worked. But how exactly does one come about that combination of ingredients? Those aren’t exactly the most natural of flavor pairings.
“I just kind of researched online for the most clean and healthy ingredients for putting on good mass,” Bartch explained. “That summer I went from 250 [pounds] to 275, and then after that I went from 275 to 305.”
You can see the effect it had over time from photos on the St. John’s athletic website.
Never seen this before... @SJUJohnnies player bios have year-by-year photos
Pretty funny to see the facial expression change from a tight end to an offensive lineman. Also note the weight change!
Ben Bartch heading to the @seniorbowl pic.twitter.com/XfSn1K7S95
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 6, 2019
See, we actually disagree with Ben’s tweet here. This facial change wasn’t about adopting an offensive lineman’s mentality. Our belief is that spending a summer drinking EggCottGritPBananaRades completely rid Bartch of his innocence and happiness in life.
We sincerely wish him the best of success in the NFL because no man should be subjected to such draconian measures except for achieving fame, glory and considerable financial gain.
We put the concoction to the test
That combination of ingredients was begging to be tried, right? Yahoo Sports podcast producer Sean Sullivan was the brave soul who agreed to drink it. Here’s what happened.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) February 27, 2020
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