Benjamin Watson wanted to give his little brother Asa time to settle in, get his feet wet and start to carve his own path in Foxboro before jumping in and making a fuss about the rookie tight end.

After all, he knows the drill and all that comes with being a Patriots rookie. He lived it once. He just wanted Asa to have his own experience without butting in at the start. So Benjamin Watson held off talking to reporters.

But now that a little time has past, with organized team activities and minicamp just completed, the former Patriots tight end was happy to provide a little insight into Asa, and do what big brothers tend to do: brag.

“You know, I always say to him, ‘I want to be like you when I grow up.’ ” Watson said of his little brother, when reached by the Herald last week. “He’s very mature. He’s very in touch with who he is as a person. He’s in touch with who he is as a man.”

When Benjamin Watson, now a member of the New Orleans Saints, went to see Asa’s Pro Day at North Carolina State earlier this year, he said a lot of people came up to him just to talk about the impact Asa had made in their lives.

“It was amazing. People kept coming up to me and saying, ‘Oh man, Asa is such a great guy.’ . . . ‘He encouraged me when I was down. . . . ‘He spoke to me during tough times.’ . . . ‘He volunteered his time.’ . . . ‘He was a friend to me,’ ” Watson said, relating the outpouring of admiration. “It was really amazing to hear the impact he had on NC State. And I know he wants to have that same impact with this football team in New England as well as that community.”

There’s a photo of Asa Watson that has appeared all over the Internet, and garnered national attention. It pictures Watson and another NC State football player befriending a handicapped student at lunch. It went viral largely because it represents a random act of kindness.

“That picture, it’s a small snapshot of who he is,” Benjamin Watson said of his brother. “They sat and ate lunch with that kid hundreds of times before, and it just so happened, someone took a shot of it, and put it on the Internet. But that’s what he had been doing. That kid is a friend, and they hung out with him a lot.”

Asa Watson did mission work in Jamaica in the summer of 2012 and spent time working with youth on Skid Row in Los Angeles the previous year. He’s already been an active participant at several Patriots charity events during the past few weeks.

“I’m just really proud of him. I’m really proud of who he is as a player. But more importantly as a man, as a husband, as a future father,” said Benjamin Watson, a 2004 first-round pick who spent six seasons with the Patriots. “He’s setting a good example for a lot of people.”

Thus far, the younger Watson has yet to stand out on the field, but it’s still early. He’s done work with the tight ends, and special teams units. Signed as an undrafted free agent, he’s a longshot to make the team, but again, there’s still time with training camp looming.

Benjamin Watson’s reaction upon learning his former team had signed Asa was twofold: relief that he’d gotten an NFL opportunity, followed by elation.

“I was happy he got a chance. I also knew this was a place that would be very tough. (Bill Belichick) is a very tough guy to play for. He demands a lot,” he said. “On the flipside, he’d be going to a place where he’d have a chance to be developed, and he’d get the skills he’d need, whether he was in New England for his whole career, or somewhere else. He’d learn how to play football, he’d learn what it means to play under pressure, he’d learn what it means to be a team player, he’d learn all those things in New England.”

Benjamin Watson got all those things, along with a Super Bowl ring during his tenure in Foxboro. The road has been filled with a few more bumps along the way for Asa, who is 10 years younger.