Dartmouth senior tight end Arthur Lynch-Fontaine is bound for the University of Georgia next fall, a school well know for producing NFL talent (particularly at the tight end position). We asked New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson (a Georgia alumn) and Oakland Raiders linebacker Ricky Brown (a BC grad and family friend of the Fontaines) to dispense some career advice to Lynch-Fontaine. Here were their responses:
What advice would you give Lynch-Fontaine?
Watson: "First, I'd say congratulations on receiving a college scholarship. Any time you get a scholarship, that's big. I'm sure his parents are happy. I would just say that he's going to a school where he can not only play great athletics but also get a good degree and have fun. He's coming to a school that's always a contender, and hopefully when he gets there, they'll be coming off a championship."
Brown: "I grew up in Cincinnati, so BC was a 14-hour drive. Being away from home, that's a tough thing to take regardless of where you're at... whether it's BC or Georgia, it's a huge adjustment. High school is a great time in your life and you'll never forget those friends. When it's time to move on to college, it's going to be hard and you might only know a few people. But that's the great thing about football and bringing people together. Artie eats that stuff up. The camaraderie of a team. Everyone bonding together on a team really helped me and he'll do the same being around his new teammates."
What does Lynch-Fontaine need to do to play at the next level?
Watson: "Persevere, No. 1. You're the big man on campus now, but when you're going to college, you have to start all over. Perseverance is key. It can be tough being away from home, in a whole different environment, going to the South and a different part of the country; it will be new people, a new offense, new coaches. Everything will be new. Sometimes a lot of guys can get discouraged when stuff doesn't go well, or they may not be playing as much as they want to play. But you have to persevere, because stuff will get better."
Brown: "He has the frame, he has the speed... One thing I told Artie is that, 'You're going to Georgia. People there will all have high school accolades, but those are not going to take you far.' It's a clean slate and you're only going to get what you put into it."
Any more tips?
Watson: "Get involved with FCA -- Fellowship of Christian Athletes -- it's a good organization. I was involved with it when I was there. It helped me spiritually but also helped me to meet other people who were positive influences."
Brown: "Artie is a great kid who just happens to be very good at football. If he wasn't a football player, he'd still be successful at whatever he did. That's just another gift he has... You'd have a hard time finding a nicer kid than Artie. I don't know anyone who doesn't like him. He's just a great kid and I hope he always stays that way."
Mike Reiss of the Globe Staff contributed.