Former Jaguars Lineman Ben Bartch Living Super Bowl Dream With 49ers

San Francisco 49ers guard Ben Bartch talks about appearing in his first Super Bowl, and protecting Brock Purdy.

Richard Graves
Richard Graves

Last Updated: 2024-02-06

Wade McElwain

It was only a few months ago that NFL lineman Ben Bartch was playing for the Jaguars at Wembley. Now Ben is suiting up for the San Francisco 49ers in his first Super Bowl, as he faces the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. 
In an exclusive with Richard Graves and SportsBoom, Ben sat down to discuss his road from Division III football, to protecting Brock Purdy. 

Living the Super Bowl "Dream" After Whirlwind Journey to 49ers

When defensive end Ben Bartch began the 2023-2024 NFL season as a depth player for the Jacksonville Jaguars, he could scarcely have imagined that just a few months later he would be suiting up for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. But that improbable dream is now a reality for the former Division III standout.
 Bartch admits that’s just the way the NFL is: “this league kind of works that way sometimes and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be here and, to be able to contribute.”

"Did Not Anticipate" Making Super Bowl After Jaguars Release

"The NFL is very unpredictable and anything can happen, but I did not anticipate it," Bartch reflected in an exclusive interview with SportsBoom on his rapid journey from Jaguars castoff to 49ers postseason contributor. "It's a culmination of years of work, work that's unseen and lots of sacrifices we make in our own lives to play the game, both physically and with our family and our time."

After being released by Jacksonville in October, the 49ers, needing defensive line depth for a playoff push, quickly scooped up Bartch. The former seventh-rounder has made the most of the opportunity, carving out a role in the Niners' defensive line rotation.

Reaching Super Bowl a "Celebration" of Perseverance”

Now Bartch will take the field for the NFL's biggest game, an outcome he calls "incredible" and the "culmination" of years of perseverance and hard work. Having only played for 4 seasons in the NFL, this young man from Oregon is ready for it all. 

"This is going to be a celebration of everybody on this team and all of that work," he commented.

Blocking for McCaffrey an "Awesome Opportunity"

Bartch will be tasked with keeping 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy safe in Super Bowl LVIII, but he'll also have the privilege of blocking for San Francisco's electric running back Christian McCaffrey.
"He's a beauty. I mean, he is, he's awesome," Bartch said, praising McCaffrey's work ethic and leadership. "Works incredibly hard, respects other people. Overall, a great leader in the locker room." 

Confident in Much-Criticized QB Brock Purdy

While Bartch anchors the offensive front, he also has to keep and eye on QB Brock Purdy, as he leads the 49ers to his first Super Bowl . Despite all the talk of Purdy being a ‘game manager’ quarterback, Bartch is quick to defend the much-criticized young signal caller.
"He's our quarterback. We defend him. We believe in him," he stated. "We're fully aware of how legit he is."

Winning Super Bowl "Incredible" Culmination for Bartch

For the newly minted Niner, the chance to bring San Francisco its first Lombardi Trophy in 29 years would be the realization of a lifelong dream.

"It would be incredible," he said. "Like I said, it would be a culmination and an endpoint of a lot of work."

After 4 years of tireless effort, the NFL guard finally has the opportunity of a lifetime on football's grandest stage. For Ben Bartch, what once seemed an impossible dream is now within reach.

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On London Games

Ben might not have suited up for Jacksonville during their 2023 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t blown away by the experience, particularly the singing ability of British fans. “They played ‘Don't look back in Anger’ and it was pretty incredible. Everyone knew all the words!”

Ben Bartch will be looking to break into song at the Super Bowl, as his San Francisco 49ers play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday February 11th in Las Vegas at 6:30pm EST. 

Richard Graves
Richard GravesJournalist

Richard began his career in local radio, commentating on matches for Leeds United. His expertise led him to cover prestigious events such as the Champions League and Europa League semi-finals. Transitioning to television, he joined Sky Sports, where he provided comprehensive coverage of Premier League football, England cricket’s Ashes and World Cup victories, Super League Grand Finals, and the NFL