INDIANAPOLIS --- Rookie mini-camp for the Colts runs from Friday through Sunday, and with 23 new players (8 draft picks and 15 undrafted free agents) ready to put on a Colts helmet, it's time to get to know some of these players a little better.
Here are some of the great storylines involving Colts rookies:
1st Round Pick WR Phillip Dorsett - By now you know, Dorsett was a Miami Hurricane, and he has worked out with new Colts wide receiver Andre Johnson this offseason. What did he tell him? Dorsett told Colts season ticket members Saturday that Johnson told him to get ready, because "a Super Bowl is coming." The goal is clear, but Johnson isn't the only Colt and Hurricane offering Dorsett support. He said he also heard from Edgerrin James via text after he was drafted and Reggie Wayne as well. "The U" is strong in Indianapolis these days.
3rd Round Pick CB D'Joun Smith - In case you missed it, Smith graduated from FAU the same day he was drafted and waited in his cap and gown for the biggest phone call of his life.
3rd Round Pick DE Henry Anderson - It's a Stanford reunion for Anderson and and 5th round pick DT David Parry, having both played for the Cardinal. All the talk of a Miami invasion on the Colts roster, and it's now Stanford with the most former players on the Colts roster with 5 (Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Griff Whalen, Anderson, and Parry) versus four from Miami (Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Dorsett, and Erik Swoope). #12 doesn't mind. "I'm never going to complain about Stanford guys joining the team," said Luck Wednesday.
4th Round Pick S Clayton Geathers - Geathers is the SIXTH member of his family to play in the NFL, but the previous five were defensive linemen. "They must not have been passing me the food," said Geathers on a conference call after getting drafted.
5th Round Pick DT David Parry - Another note on Parry is he had to earn his scholarship at Stanford, after starting as a walk-on in Palo Alto. He took the hard route to the NFL, but here he is. In fact, he was a Burlsworth Trophy semifinalist, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on.
6th Round Pick RB Josh Robinson - No Colts draft pick has a story quite like Robinson's, having overcome more adversity than any player in this draft class. He spent months in high school homeless, living out of a car. He has the number 23 tattooed on his chest, because his grandmother and grandfather both died on that date, his mother was sentenced to 18 years in prison on that date, and he later had his first 100-yard game on the 23rd of the month as well. His grandmother was the most influential person in his life. What would she think now of Robinson making it to the NFL? "I didn't call her grandma. I called her mama," Robinson told Colts.com shortly after getting drafted. "I represent her. When I stepped out on the field, she was my biggest fan and my biggest critic. She taught me everything on the field and off the field to be the man I am now. When I put a smile on your face, that's a part of her." Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano were smiling ear-to-ear too when talking about Robinson's path to to the NFL as well at their post-draft press conference(14:45 mark of the video).
6th Round Pick ILB Amarlo Herrera - Day 3 draft picks always have the best "Where were you when you got drafted?" stories. Herrera is no different. Herrera was at his local bowling alley with family when a 317 area code showed up on his phone. Herrera wasn't on pace to bowl a 300 or personal best, we hope. "I've been getting spanked for a couple of hours now," Herrera joked. Getting drafted was the perfect excuse to say to heck with that 7-10 split.
7th Round Pick OT Denzelle Good - No draft pick in 2015 stumped the experts more than Denzelle Good. NFL.com's on-line coverage featured an anchor and analyst that thought he was from Marshall, instead of his correct division-II school Mars Hill, because the abbreviation for that school that came up next to his name was "MARS". Women are from Venus, but Good is from Mars...Hill. The pick even stumped NFL Network's draft guru Mike Mayock. "We struck out on him on the penultimate pick of the draft," said Mayock. "It's even better to just go, 'No. We don't have him.' Don't fake it." Ryan Grigson's thoughts on stumping Mayock? "That's the cherry on top." Grigson and his scouts found Good at the Regional Combine in Arizona that took place about the same time as the NFL Annual Meeting and Veteran Combine. Grigson said he likes his movement skills for a guy close to 340 pounds.
Undrafted Free Agent QB Bryan Bennett - Bennett is noteworthy, because of where he transferred from to get to Southeastern Louisiana. Bennett started his collegiate career as an Oregon Duck, wowing fans and beat writers in training camp as a true freshman. Most assumed he was the quarterback of the future in Chip Kelly's offense. Sometimes competition at major college programs is fierce though (ask Ohio State's quarterbacks), and eventually, one of the best quarterbacks in college football history arrived on campus - Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. He has the athleticism to compete to be Andrew Luck's back-up in future years, with plenty of arm strength and scrambling ability. It's a long process though, but one that will be interesting to watch.
Undrafted Free Agent LB Zack Hodges - Hodges was an Ivy-League standout at Harvard. His story and character are wonderful to read. NFL.com's Conor Orr wrote a fantastic profile on him. He's fought through grief after the tragic death of both his parents, while balancing all-night study sessions in the library with countless other endeavours that interested him outside of football. Those academic pursuits are why he went to the Ivy League, instead of other schools that were interested in him, like Stanford and Alabama. His roommate at Harvard explained Hodges simply but best: "He could have done anything he wanted. He knew where he came from, and he knew exactly where he wanted to get to." And right now, that's the NFL, but people that know Hodges say they wouldn't be surprised one bit if he's President of the United States one day. Quite the well-rounded young man...