Barrington’s Ben LeCompte relishes chance with hometown Bears

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Former Barrington High School star Ben LeCompte is punting for his hometown pro team, the Bears. (Sun-Times media)

The day after Ben LeCompte signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent, Robbie Gould told him he was excited to work together. Ten days later, the rookie punter stayed late after organized team activities, receiving pointers from the Bears kicker.

“Robbie Gould was my favorite player growing up, so it’s a neat experience,” said LeCompte, a Barrington High School alum. “And it’s awesome, just being able to learn from one of the very best.”

LeCompte, who is practicing punts and kicking off, figures to be a depth piece behind punter Pat O’Donnell, a sixth-round pick in 2014. He’s used to long odds. He wasn’t recruited out of high school until North Dakota State — which plays in the Football Championship Subdivision — called the January 2011, two months after his senior season ended.

He visited Fargo, N.D., three days later and committed two days after that.

The result, after four years as the starting punter and three years handling kickoffs: two FCS All-American honors, the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s all-time punting average record — and five national championships. The Bison won the title in each of LeCompte’s seasons there, including his redshirt year in 2011.

“Winning one was a dream come true,” he said. “Winning five, I dunno when it’ll set in.”

The last two seasons, the Bisons were led by quarterback Carson Wentz, who was drafted second overall by the Eagles.

“It couldn’t happen to a better kid, to a harder worker, more humble person,” LeCompte said. “The fact he was able to achieve his dream — in a different way than mine — is awesome.”

The 5-10, 200-pound LeCompte is thrilled with his opportunity, too. Since earning a roster invitation after trying out during rookie minicamp, he’s been able to sneak back home for dinner and even, for the first time in years, to a Barrington High School baseball game.

“It felt right, being a Chicago kid coming out here — the culture around here, the people around here,” he said. “And the coaches, just from three days working with them in minicamp, everything felt right.”

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