Frank Reich Heaps Praise on Young Colts Wide Receiver

Getty Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich.

The Indianapolis Colts have kicked off the 2022 season with training camp fully underway. There are a lot of new faces, including a new quarterback in Matt Ryan, but head coach Frank Reich is very impressed with one of the team’s young players.

Shortly after practice in front of a full crowd on Saturday, July 30, Reich was asked if fans could expect a bigger impact from fourth-year wide receiver Ashton Dulin on offense. While Reich could have given a generic answer to the question, he was adamant about how highly himself and the rest of the coaching staff think of the 25-year-old.

“I cannot emphasize how strongly we feel about Ashton Dulin,” Reich told reporters after practice. “He’s going to play a role in this offense. He’s proven it, he’s earned it…We love him. We’re all planning on him making a significant contribution not only to special teams, but to the offense this year.”

Dulin hasn’t had a featured role in the Indianapolis offense, but that could change in 2022 with how Reich has been talking about him at training camp. He made a handful of impressive catches during Saturday’s practice, so we’ll see if he can continue to make plays heading into the preseason.

Ashton Dulin is Ready for a Breakout Year in 2022

It has been a long road to this point, but the fact that Dulin is heading into his fourth NFL season considering what it took to get here is impressive.

Coming out of Reynoldsburg High School in Ohio, Dulin was such an unknown commodity that he wasn’t even ranked by 247Sports going to college. With limited options on where to play next, Dulin enrolled to play for the Malone Pioneers, a Division II program out of Canton, Ohio.

Dulin was a two-sport athlete at Malone, succeeding in both football and indoor track. He was a two-time All-G-Mac selection in football, finishing with over 3,500 total yards and 31 total touchdowns over his career. In track, he set conference records and was a Division II All-American.

Despite all of his success in both sports, Dulin didn’t hear his name called in the 2019 NFL Draft, but was picked up by the Colts as an undrafted free agent. He saw limited action in his first few seasons with the team, primarily playing on special teams, but he did make history by becoming the first ever Malone player to play in the NFL.

2021 was a big year for Dulin. He caught 13 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, but his primary contributions were on special teams. He was a second-team All-Pro special teamer, finishing second in the league with 17 special teams tackles.

While he’ll likely continue to be a key member of the special teams units, Dulin should have a much larger role in the offense heading into 2022.

Other Colts Standing Out in Camp

The Colts are only just kicking off training camp, but in their few practices available to reporters, a few players are starting to stand out.

According to Bob Kravitz from The Athletic, fellow wide receiver Parris Campbell is also impressing at camp. Campbell was an electric playmaker at Ohio State, but he’s struggled to stay healthy for the Colts since being drafted in the second round in 2019, playing just 15 games over his first three seasons.

Kravitz also pointed out that rookie safety Nick Cross has been playing well, seeing playing time with the first-team defense alongside safely Julian Blackmon. Cross snagged a one-handed interception on a Matt Ryan pass in the first practice of training camp, and is hoping to be named a starter by Week 1.

There’s still plenty of time for other players to stand, but guys like Dulin, Campbell, and Cross are off to a roaring start.

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