It’s finally here! After a whirlwind of an offseason, the Colts players are set to rejoin each other this week for training camp at Anderson University. I’m happy to report that all the Colts will be there, for as of Wednesday evening, rookie tight ends Coby Fleener (2nd round, Stanford) and Dwayne Allen (3rd round, Clemson) signed their finalized contracts with the Horseshoe. Their signings officially sealed up the entirety of the team’s 2012 draft class.
Under the guidelines of the new CBA, no unsigned player is allowed to participate in camp, so Fleener and Allen’s signings come just in time. While the rookies arrived to camp Wednesday, the veterans are due in Saturday. The first official full team practices will begin Sunday afternoon.
Fleener was drafted by the Colts in April with the 34th over all pick. The selection was the highest the team had invested in a tight end since 2003, when they drafted – you guessed it – Dallas Clark. Though the expectations may be high, Fleener has the statistics to merit his high selection. During his four years with the Cardinal, Fleener had 96 receptions for 1,543 yards and 18 touchdowns, the most ever for a Stanford tight end. He was also the first Stanford tight end to receive All-America honors since 1959. Fleener already has an established chemistry with the Colts’ new quarterback Andrew Luck (who also signed a fully guaranteed, 4-year/$22.1 million contract late last week), since the two played together extensively throughout their college careers.
What you may not know about Fleener: He has a masters degree in Communication and recently took over Sport Illustrated writer Peter King’s popular Monday Morning Quaterback column (MMQB).
(Click here to view Allen’s video message.)
When the Colts drafted Dwayne Allen at 64th over all, they selected their second consecutive tight end of the draft. Allen must have really impressed the team to merit a second selection of the same position so close to the other. Allen joins the Colts from Clemson University, where he equaled the school’s reception record for a tight end (93) in just three seasons. He was also awarded the John Mackey Award, an honor bestowed upon the nation’s best tight end.
In other news, last year’s top draft choices Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana were officially cleared for training camp practice on Wednesday. Castonzo and Ijalana were plagued by injuries in their rookie seasons, both of which required surgery (Castonzo’s ankle was operated on, while Ijalana had work done on his knee). The two promising linemen will look to protect Luck from defenses in their sophomore seasons. Sophomore running back Delone Carter (thumb) was also cleared for practice.
Things are looking up for the Colts, and with training camp set to begin, it couldn’t come soon enough. Keep up with #HorseBytes as I share with you the ongoings of camp until the first preseason game on August 12th, when “Horseshoe Hero” will return to give in-depth evaluations on individual players and notable performances. You can also follow me at @catierae08 on Twitter.
To read more about the signings, visit the following links:
Indianapolis Colts (Official): ALLEN ADDED
Indianapolis Colts (Official): FLEENER AGREES TO CONTRACT TERMS