NEW BRITAIN - Jacob Dolegala said on draft night it didnâ€™t matter where a player was drafted. Once training camp started, â€śeveryone was on a level playing field.â€ť
The former Central Connecticut State quarterback certainly proved his own theory right. Dolegala, who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent following the 2019 NFL draft, made the Bengals 53-man roster during final cutdowns on Saturday.
In doing so, Dolegala becomes the first CCSU player to make an NFL roster since former offensive lineman and arena league standout Rich Ranglin signed with the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2012 season.
Cincinnati now gets ready for the regular season with three quarterbacks on its active roster: starter Andy Dalton, 2019 fourth-round pick Ryan Finley and Dolegala. Last seasonâ€™s backup, Jeff Driskel, was placed on injured reserve.
Dolegala made the case for himself during the Bengalsâ€™ final two preseason games and was impressive in both.
Against the New York Giants, he finished 10-for-12 for 94 yards and two touchdowns, nearly leading the Bengals to a come-from-behind win. Dolegala then played every offensive snap of the teamâ€™s final preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts and went 27-for-41 for 253 yards. He did not throw an interception in either game.
Dolegala finished his career with the Blue Devils as the school's all-time leader in passing yardage and touchdowns, becoming just the fifth quarterback in Northeast Conference history to throw for more than 8,000 yards. Dolegala finished his CCSU career completing 654 of 1136 passes for 8,129 yards, 48 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.
As a senior, he completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,221 yards and 16 touchdowns while throwing just six interceptions. He also finished fourth on the team in rushing with 274 yards on the ground to go along with six rushing touchdowns and was a First Team All-Northeast Conference selection.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org