Plenty of Massachusetts boys dream of becoming New England Patriots players.
Jake Burt is living that dream.
Burt, whose hometown of Lynnfield, Mass., sits 45 miles northeast of Foxboro, is midway through his first Patriots training camp. The 24-year-old is attempting to crack the 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie tight end — and loving every second of it.
“It’s obviously been a dream come true,” Burt said after Thursday’s practice. “Every day I walk into this building, I’m extremely grateful to the Patriots and this entire organization. I couldn’t be more happy every single day I’m here. There’s no other place I’d rather be. Growing up a fan here and a fan of all Boston sports, it’s really a dream come true, and I’m appreciating every moment I have.”
Burt, who called himself a “diehard” Patriots fan, is a lifelong Bay Stater.
After starring as a high schooler at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, he went on to Boston College, where he appeared in 38 games over five collegiate seasons. Burt primarily served as a blocker for the Eagles, registering career highs with 15 catches for 212 yards and one touchdown as a senior.
Burt’s rookie contract included $85,000 in guaranteed money, the fifth-highest total in New England’s 15-man UDFA class.
“Me, my friends, my family — always huge, huge Patriots fans,” he said. “… I’m extremely grateful to be in this situation I’ve been put in, and it’s really a dream come true. I’ve been taking it one day at a time trying to improve my game and myself, and I couldn’t be more happy to be a Patriot.”
Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Burt is competing for reps with Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene, Ryan Izzo and Paul Butler in Patriots training camp. With Asiasi and Keene guaranteed to make the roster as third-round draft picks, Burt, Izzo and Butler could be battling for just one spot.
Through 10 open practices, Izzo — the only member of New England’s tight end group who was with the team last season — appears to have the edge in that competition.
“It’s been great,” said Burt, who missed two consecutive practices earlier this week. “All the guys in the room are great. Coach (Nick) Caley is great. It’s been a really fun time getting to know the guys, competing every single day, and personally, I’ve been trying to get better every single day, make sure my game is improving every single day. That’s all I’m focused on.”