James Develin carves out niche with Patriots

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FOXBOROUGH – Like most Ivy League students, James Develin had thoughts of a successful professional career motivating him as his college days drew to a close.

Armed with a degree in mechanical engineering from Brown, Develin began lining up interviews with companies he felt might best be suited for the technical skills he had learned. His head might have been preparing for life in the corporate world, but his heart couldn’t let go of an athletic dream, far-fetched as it was.

Develin, an all-Ivy defensive end for the Bears, wanted to continue playing football. He wanted to switch from defense to offense — fullback seemed like a good fit — and play in the NFL. Despite the fact he had really never played fullback, and despite the fact he wouldn’t be getting drafted by any NFL team.

Talk about long odds.

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