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Utah football awards scholarship to former DIII walk-on

Utah football awards scholarship to former DIII walk-on
London Bartholomew, No. 76, celebrating after the Utah Utes claimed back-to-back Pac-12 South Division Championships in 2018 and 2019. (Courtesy: @london_bart76/Instagram)

SALT LAKE CITY (BVM) – There might not be another special moment like it. The fulfillment of years of hard work, the recognition of your contributions and the alleviation of financial burden are all byproducts of what London Bartholomew received on May 31.

A senior on the University of Utah football team, Bartholomew has spent his three seasons with the Utes as a red-shirt and scout team member before seeing his first Division I action in 2019. Less than a month after his graduation from Utah with a double major in economics and sociology, Bartholomew received the news that every walk-on dreams of: You’re on scholarship.

“All my hard work has finally paid off,” Bartholomew said in an Instagram post. “Utah football has an amazing walk-on program full of opportunities where every player is treated the same. I believe that the brotherhood of the team and the unity cannot be matched by any other college in the nation.

View this post on Instagram

Excited to say that I have been put on full scholarship! All my hard work has finally paid off!  Utah football has an amazing walk on program full of opportunities where every player is treated the same! I believe that the brotherhood of the team and the unity cannot be matched by any other college in the nation.  Amazing teammates! Amazing Coaches! I want to give thanks to my family, coaches, teammates and everyone else that has supported me. Can’t wait to get back on the field! Go Utes!

A post shared by London Bartholomew (@london_bart76) on

Bartholomew’s mother, Danette, played softball at Ohio State University while his British father, Chris, allowed him to have dual U.S./British citizenship.

The name London makes more sense now, right?

With roots in the U.K. and ties in Ohio, Arizona is where Bartholomew cemented his own legacy as a successful prep athlete. An all-section honorable mention football player as a senior at Red Mountain High School, Bartholomew also competed in the shot put.

Prior to joining the Utes as a walk-on in 2017, Bartholomew played in 10 games at Ohio Wesleyan (Division III) in 2016 despite receiving higher-level offers coming out of high school. The Wooster, Ohio native did so in an effort to stay close to home and allow his grandfather to watch him play college football, a dream he always had, Bartholomew told the University of Utah. Bartholomew saw action in two games last season for Utah, playing on the offensive line against Idaho State and Colorado.

Utah associate head coach and offensive line coach Jim Harding said Bartholomew has become an integral piece of “O Block,” what the Utes call their offensive line unit.

“In his time here, London has grown to be an important part of the O Block,” Harding said to the University of Utah. “He is someone the incoming players commonly approach for help. He has done a wonderful job of giving his best effort, with never expecting anything in return.”

Not only has Bartholomew secured a scholarship and recognition from the coaching staff, but support from his teammates.

San Pedro, Calif. native and junior offensive lineman Nick Ford touched on his reaction to Bartholomew’s scholarship and the duo’s relationship. Ford and Bartholomew both arrived in Salt Lake City in 2017 and are known to be inseparable.

“When he (Bartholomew) got his scholarship on Zoom I ran out of my apartment screaming like a mad man,” Ford said to the University of Utah. “This man deserved this and has been working for years. One of the most humble and determined humans I have ever met in my life. Yin and yang is an understatement because this is my guy.

“I know 40 years down the road me and this guy are definitely still going to be hanging out. There is no question in my mind.”

This tight-knit friendship that Bartholomew and Ford share is a perfect example of the brotherhood and unity that the former walk-on believes is unmatched.

Bartholomew bet on himself after leaving a Division III program for a preferred walk-on roster spot, but was rewarded with the ultimate surprise. Even if the senior played his final season without a scholarship, it’s safe to say there would still be no regrets.

“I knew coming into Utah, it had a strong walk-on program and had heard from several teammates before I joined that you are treated equally to other guys,” Bartholomew said to the University of Utah. “That impressed me and shortly after arriving, there was no doubt I made the right decision.

“I love my team and they love me back. We are family for life.”

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