Ben Beise

UW-River Falls senior tight end Ben Beise signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will participate in the Buccaneers rookie mini-camp May 13-14. Star-Observer file photo

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – Former University of Wisconsin-River Falls football All-American tight end Ben Beise of Lorretto, Minn. signed an undrafted free agent contract with the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers Saturday and will be added to the team's 90-man preseason roster.

Beise will participate in the Buccaneers rookie mini-camp May 13-14. The rookie mini-camp includes first-year players, draftees, undrafted free agents, tryout players and last season's practice squad players. The NFL has announced that the 2022 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 12, for the Buccaneers and 31 other teams.

“I can not put into words how proud I am of Ben,” said UWRF football head coach Matt Walker. “No one has worked harder than him or deserves this more than him. He has positively impacted more people in our program than probably any player that I have ever had.”

A 2021 AFCA First Team All-American, Beise compiled 414 all-purpose yards with three rushing and one receiving touchdowns, helping lead UWRF to a record-breaking 2021 season. During the 2021 season finale and his final game as a Falcon against Washington University-St. Louis in the inaugural Culver's Isthmus Bowl, Beise ran for a touchdown and collected a two-point conversion reception, helping the Falcons earn the most wins since 1996 with a 9-2 record.

He garnered All-WIAC First Team honors as a tight end and Second Team laurels as an all-purpose back, along with Second Team All-Region recognition.

Originally a quarterback, Beise converted to tight end and didn't see action until his junior year in 2019 before his breakout 2021 season. After a 2020 COVID-19 canceled season, he returned for a fifth season and caught 38 passes for 358 yards along with 93 rushing yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. UWRF had the top scoring and rushing offense in the WIAC.

“Obviously his talent and football ability are amazing, but I promise you that every player and coach would tell you that Ben is an even better person," Walker commented. "His commitment to being a great teammate and leading by example was one of the most powerful influences in our program. He is the hardest worker in practice, hardest worker in the weight room, and the hardest worker outside of the building with nutrition and training his body. I know that he will give himself every opportunity to succeed."

In the classroom, Beise is a three-time WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll member and is set to complete his degree this spring in Agricultural Engineering Technology with a 3.11 GPA.

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