James Develin is one happy guy. In March, the New England Patriots signed a two-year, $2.4 million contract with this fullback and he is spending the off-season staying in shape and spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their two little boys in the Philadelphia area or down the shore in Southern New Jersey.
Living his dream of playing professional football didn't come easily to him, even though he is 6-foot-3 and weighs 255 pounds.
Develin was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and lettered in lacrosse and football in high school. He received some accolades for being both a scholar and athlete. He attended Brown University, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and played football all four years as a defensive lineman. After college, he remained undrafted so he signed with the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz of the Arena Football League (AFL) as well as joining the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League (UFL). There he switched from defensive line to fullback.
From 2010-2012, he was signed to the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad. In 2012, he joined the Patriots' practice squad. A few months later, he was promoted to the active roster where he has been ever since, although a broken tibia caused him to miss the entirety of the 2015 season, as reported in Pats Pulpit.
Patriots Coach Bill Belichick had great things to say about Develin as reported in the Boston Herald in June.
"James works hard and he's improved every year," said Belichick. "He is one of the strongest players on the team and very dependable and he assists us in a lot of different ways in the unsung dirty jobs. He goes into the corners and gets the puck. He doesn't stand in front of the net and put it in. He goes and digs it out."
While Develin has great things to say about his team and fans, his biggest praise goes to his wife, Jennifer."My wife does the toughest and most important job in the world, and that's being a mother to my two boys and she's the best one I know. She's been an absolute soldier working around my crazy schedule at times. She never complains, and always just works her tail off to give everything she has to raising our two boys. She's an amazing woman and I wouldn't be the man I am today without her," said Develin.
Develin is fan of Hotshot, a sports nutrition drink that is stated to help athletes avoid muscle cramps that was developed, in part, by Dr. Bruce Bean, the Robert Winthrop Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.James Develin recently spoke with this writer about his athletic journey, and gave insights on what he expects from the next season, how he spends his time when he isn't on the gridiron, why he likes Hotshot when he is working out, and more. The video of the interview is below.