NEW BRITAIN - Entering the 2019 NFL draft, former CCSU quarterback Jacob Dolegala believed he had one of the best arms among the signal callers waiting to be selected.
On Thursday night, against the New York Giants, the Cincinnati Bengals rookie finally got to show off his throwing ability in the team’s third preseason game as he vies for a spot on the Bengals’ roster as an undrafted free agent.
Dolegala completed 10 of his 12 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns, the only two scores for Cincinnati in the second half. The 22-year-old nearly led the Bengals to a comeback after entering the game late in the third quarter in relief of fellow rookie quarterback Ryan Finley had a two-point attempt not failed late in the fourth. Cincinnati lost the game 25-23.
Dolegala’s first touchdown pass came with 13:08 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard fade route to Damion Willis in the back-left corner of the end zone. In all, the Bengals covered 45 yards on five plays that took two minutes and 23 seconds. Four of the five plays were passes.
After Cincinnati returned a punt for a touchdown and went three-and-out on its next possession, the former Blue Devil led a 7-play, 35-yard drive that resulted in 2-yard touchdown pass to Josh Malone with 2:43 left in the game.
Dolegala is currently competing with Jeff Driskel, a fourth-year quarterback out of Louisiana Tech, and Finely, a third-round pick out of NC State, for a roster spot. The Bengals starting quarterback in Andy Dalton.
But competing is nothing new for Dolegala either. With CCSU his only scholarship offer following his prep year at the Milford Academy, Dolegala had to win the starting quarterback job at a school that did not have a winning season since 2010.
Dolegala ended up being a four-year starter for the Blue Devils and set school records in passing yards (8,129) and passing touchdowns (48) and helped lead the school for an NEC title in 2017, the school’s first since 2010, and the program’s first-ever FCS playoff berth.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or email@example.com