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Pat Ricard, Ravens’ three-way player, doubles up as food critic

December 6, 2018 GMT

OWINGS MILLS, MD In an age of specialization, the Ravens Pat Ricard is a throwback, splitting snaps between offense, defense and special teams. But the fullback-defensive linemans real versatility comes when he steps off the field.

The University of Maine product has been making a name for himself this season as a reviewer of Baltimore-area restaurants. Ricards weekly excursions are chronicled on Instagram have piqued the interest of fans, as teammates and social media followers log in for the players recommendations.

His former college coach, Corey Hetherman, the defensive coordinator at Maine, is one of those enjoying Ricards online tours of Charm City eateries.

I follow him on Instagram. Whats going on with that? I had to ask, Hetherman said. I thought it was pretty neat he was doing that. Hetherman said Ricard, at 6-foot-3, 311 pounds, could put away a lot of food even before the reviews began earlier this season.

The idea came from one of his agents, who wanted to see Ricard get more involved in the community in his second season in Baltimore. He is represented by Exclusive Sports Group of Indianapolis.

View this post on Instagram Had a great dinner with @neek56 at @theoutpostbaltimore for #ProjectPatsFoodReview A real authentic tavern vibe that has a full bar with TVs along with a side room for dining. I loved the nachos in a can....YES, a can full of nachos for an app! Truly a unique item. We also enjoyed their Ramen Monday Night Special with two bowls of Ramen, and the chocolate cream pie/ (forgot the name of it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)but a pancake in a skillet with blueberries and vanilla ice cream for our desert!!! Overall, we enjoyed our time and would recommend this for a few drinks and a good meal! TUNE IN next Monday to see who my guest is and where we eat!!! Id score this place a 8.1/10 A post shared by Pat Ricard (@pric508) on Nov 12, 2018 at 6:30pm PST

What has been the reaction of Ravens fans?

It is cool. They can go on there (on Instagram) and ask questions, Ricard said.

Ricard often brings a teammate along to experience the off-the-beaten-path restaurants that he calls hidden gems.

He got at least 390 likes after an outing with teammate and tight end Maxx Williams to Wicked Sisters, in the trendy Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore.

A very comfortable, modern feel that had two floors with bars/TVs and plenty of tables to enjoy your food and drinks, Ricard wrote.

Ricard, from Spencer, Mass., beat the odds to make the NFL.

He is one of several products of the Colonial Athletic Association, which put six teams in the FCS playoffs this season, to appear with the Ravens in recent years.

That includes current quarterback Joe Flacco and defensive tackle Nick Boyle of Delaware and former running back Terrance West (Towson), who was with the Ravens from 2015-17.

Ricard played linebacker in high school and then was signed as a non-drafted player in 2017 by the Ravens as a defensive lineman, a position he played at Maine.

Here he played every snap on defense, Hetherman said. He was the anchor of our defensive line. He was just leading by example.

In the spring of 2017, during Organized Team Activities (OTAs), the Ravens asked Rickard to take get some work as a fullback on offense. That came after former fullback Kyle Juszczyk signed as a free agent with the 49ers after the 2016 season.

They just wanted to see what I can do. They liked what they say, said Ricard, standing by his locker after a recent practice. The most challenging part at first was just learning everything. I didnt play offense in college. Communicating with the coaches and mentally doing everything is a challenge.

It keeps me on the team, it keeps me active. Injuries happen. I play here, I can play there. It is fun, added Ricard, who also played fullback in high school.

The 7-5 Ravens, who have won three games in a row with rookie Lamar Jackson at quarterback, play Sunday at the 10-2 Kansas City Chiefs.