D-III Draft Prospect Ben Bartch Drank an Unholy Concoction to Pack on 60 Pounds

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: The nasty protein shake that made a D-III tight end a hot NFL tackle prospect, a wild women’s hoops upset and more.
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There are better ways to do this, man

Two years ago, Ben Bartch was a third-string tight end at D-III St. John’s University in Minnesota. His coaches didn’t see a path to consistent playing time at his current position but they liked his blocking ability, so they suggested he add some weight to his 6' 6", 250-pound frame and start playing offensive line. 

The position switch was life-changing for Bartch, who has gone from D-III backup to legitimate NFL prospect. He weighed in at 309 pounds this week at the combine in Indianapolis, and the story of how he packed on all that weight is truly harrowing. 

Bartch told reporters in Indy on Wednesday that he would consume a frightening combination of foods just to up his caloric intake. 

Here’s the recipe: 

  • Seven scrambled eggs
  • “Big tub” of cottage cheese
  • Quick grits
  • Peanut butter
  • Banana
  • Gatorade

Bartch then combined all the ingredients in a blender and choked down his improvised protein shake. 

“I would just throw it all in and then plug my nose,” Bartch said. “In the dark. I would gag sometimes. That’s what you have to do sometimes.”

Without access to the nutritionists big-time programs have, Bartch resorted to using the internet to figure out how he could gain weight quickly and safely. 

“I just kind of researched online for the most clean and healthy ingredients for putting on good mass,” Bartch said. “That summer I went from 250 (pounds) to 275, and then after that I went from 275 to 305.”

Did any of that research say you had to blend everything together, though? A breakfast of scrambled eggs with grits, cottage cheese and a peanut butter-banana sandwich on the side, washed down with Gatorade sounds decent enough. Putting it all together in one protein-packed slurry just sounds like a nightmare. It must have looked as disgusting as it tasted, especially if he used a brightly dyed Gatorade flavor like fruit punch or orange. 

As horrifying as it may have been, forcing himself to consume the concoction has propelled Bartch to a likely spot in the NFL. Once he’s in the pros, he’ll have a whole team of nutrition advisers who can help him maintain a healthy weight without drinking things that make him want to barf. 

What an upset!

The Hartford women’s basketball team entered Wednesday’s season finale winless (0–28, 0–15 in America East play). Picking up their first victory of the season in their last shot would be a tough task for the Hawks, who were playing the best team in their conference, Stony Brook (25–2, 13–1 in-conference). 

But Hartford pulled off the massive upset, 70–67, and avoided becoming the only team in Division I (men’s or women’s) to go winless this season. 

It was first-year Hartford head coach Morgan Valley’s first career victory, and her old coach Geno Auriemma was thrilled to hear about it. 

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