We are quickly approaching rookie mini-camp, and the Atlanta Falcons have added several talented, young prospects to the roster. Some were acquired during the 2021 NFL Draft, and some were signed as undrafted rookies following its conclusion.
One such undrafted rookie who has joined the Falcons is offensive lineman Jack Batho LV of the South Dakota School of Mines. The 6’8”, 308 pound Batho was a 2-time captain for the Hardrockers and spent six seasons with the team due to injury.
As part of my UDFA Q&A series, I had the pleasure of speaking with Batho about his time at the School of Mines, Peyton Manning, and more!
What is the South Dakota School of Mines, and how would you describe your time there?
School of Mines is an engineering institution in Rapid City, South Dakota. We’re about a 45-minute drive from Mount Rushmore. I had internships; worked with LMG down in Houston, Texas. Had the experience working down there, so I was working on the design-side of a large scale production. Then last year, I worked locally as a Corrosion Control Engineer for gas and utilities out here.
My experience at Mines was a little different. I think because it’s more of a “school first” institution, which kinda makes life as a student-athlete a little more difficult. My first five years there were strictly morning practices. So, you wake up at 5 a.m. and get ready to go and knock pads around at about 6 a.m., then go to class all day. Come back after classes and have meeting, lift weights and then head to bed. It’s really unique in that aspect from what I understand most colleges are like. But I did it, built that work ethic, built up character.
Did you receive any other offers? What made you decide to sign with the Falcons?
So, what kinda drew me to join the Falcons was initially meeting with the scout, Juan. When he came to campus we had a pretty good connection. He came and saw me the week after I got injured, where I had my season-ending injury in 2019. Then this offseason they sent me some Falcons’ gear, back in March. It really just seemed like the organization as a whole had a connection with me. To answer your question, I did have other offers and other opportunities, but I felt like the Falcons were going to be the best situation for me.
Did you have a favorite team/player growing up? Is there a certain player you model your game after?
I grew up watching the Colts, because of Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning’s my favorite player. I just liked the way he approached the game, his attitude. I feel like my strong suit is football IQ, which is something that he was really good with. He was able to control the game from the quarterback position, so I guess that made me switch to a Broncos fan when he joined the Broncos. Since then, I haven’t had a strong pull towards any team.
Modeling my game, I like Joe Thomas. His mental toughness, and he had to play through a lot of injuries. One season I played through a torn labrum and bicep tendon in my shoulder. One thing that I try to do is model my game after people who are mentally and psychically tough.
Have you discussed what your role will be with the Falcons’ staff?
I don’t know exactly what position, but my goal is to learn all five positions on the offensive line. Left or right, doesn’t matter — I’ll be as useful as I can when I get in.
What should Falcons fans know about you?
I’m somebody who is going to come in and do anything that’s asked of me. Giving myself the best chance and helping the team anyway that I can.
Normally, this is the part where I share some game film, but I unfortunately couldn’t locate any. Speaking with Batho, the big takeaways for me is that he’s a smart guy and his size is ideal for an offensive tackle in this sceheme, even though he’s open to playing wherever he’s needed. Obviously, Batho will have to adjust to a different level of talent in the NFL, but I’m excited to see what he has to offer this summer.