Alumni: Bartoszek, Forde Headed For Indy
Former University at Buffalo wide receiver Drew Haddad is going to have plenty of people to reminisce with about his days with the Bulls in the near future.
A pair of Buffalo seniors -Chad Bartoszek (Salamanca, NY/Salamanca) and Andre Forde (Penfield, NY/Penfield) - signed NFL free agent contracts with the Indianapolis Colts shortly after the conclusion of the 2003 NFL draft on Sunday. Both Bartoszek and Forde were freshmen when Haddad was rewriting the UB record books as a senior.
Bartoszek, who finished his senior season with a career-best 45 receptions for 350 yards, was one of the nation's most productive tight ends his final two years. The 6-6, 255-pounder had 87 receptions for 792 yards and four touchdowns as a junior and senior and finished his career as the all-time leader in receptions by a tight end in UB history.
A second-team Mid-American Conference selection, Bartoszek also played in the Rotary Gridiron Classic in Orlando, FL in January, catching a touchdown pass while adding three receptions in the game. Bartoszek is the first Buffalo player to twice receive All-MAC recognition, earning honorable mention status after his junior season.
Forde, meanwhile, had a spectacular senior season to put himself on the NFL radar screen. Despite missing two full games, the flanker and kick returner set a new school record with 1,556 all-purpose yards while scoring nine touchdowns. Forde led the Bulls with 54 receptions for 748 yards (13.9 per catch) and had seven pass receptions for scores.
Forde began his senior season with an 83-yard punt return for a score versus Lehigh (the second-longest in school history) then had three touchdown receptions in UB's stunning 34-11 win at Rutgers of the BIG EAST in week two. He went on to tie the school record with 12 receptions for 202 yards (becoming just the second UB player to go over 200 yards receiving in a game) and hit paydirt twice in a last-second loss at Ohio.
"I am really happy for both of them that they get an opportunity to be in an NFL training camp, because the only way you can make a club is if you're with a club," said Buffalo head coach Jim Hofher. "Now it's up to them to work as hard as they can every day which I know they will. We're very proud and happy for them and completely supportive of their efforts to make an NFL roster."