Phillip Dorsett's 'U' buddies know Colts well

First-round draft choice has talked to several well-known former Miami Hurricanes about joining the Colts organization.

What could be more ideal in an Indianapolis introduction than to name-drop some familiar NFL names.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, selected with the NFL draft’s 29th overall choice, let the media know Saturday he has connections to the franchise.

The “U” bond runs deep from the University of Miami.

Asked about getting acclimated in Indianapolis after flying in a few hours earlier, Dorsett said, “I would just say how down-to-earth everybody is around here. Coach (Chuck) Pagano, how he is. Obviously he comes from the University of Miami and he’s familiar with all the players. Nothing really different. I pretty much knew a lot about it. I talked to Reggie (Wayne) a lot. Talked to Andre Johnson a lot. Pretty much knew a lot of stuff. Even Edgerrin James a lot, too. He texted me right after it happened. To have people like that in my ear is a blessing.”

Head coach Chuck Pagano is a former Hurricanes assistant. The other players are also from Miami. The retired James is the Colts’ all-time leading rusher. Reggie Wayne played 14 years through last season and has won more games than any player in franchise history. Wide receiver Andre Johnson, who Dorsett has worked out with in South Florida, is now a teammate.

They all told Dorsett the same thing.

“That it’s a great organization,” he said. “The coaches really care about the players. Everybody is happy to be here, just like me. I can tell it’s going to be a smooth transition. A lot of people are going to help me with that. I’ll say it again, I can’t really emphasize how glad I am to be here.”

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Dorsett: ‘I can’t be more happy’

He likened his Indy introduction to his environment at Miami.

“Yes, Miami is a special place,” he said. “It’s a place where everybody gets treated like family. No matter what happens, everybody’s family. Like you said it’s a fraternity. I’m blessed to have gone there and then to come here.”

Dorsett admitted he was surprised when the Colts selected him. He didn’t realize the buzz about the Colts’ pick had many expecting a defensive player selection.

Not that he cared about any of the talk. He was too happy about when his name was called, and celebrated with family and friends.

Now he’s going to be catching passes from quarterback Andrew Luck and working in meeting rooms with Johnson, T.Y. Hilton and others.

“My eyes light up when I see it,” he said of the offense. “See how much they throw the ball, see how many yards he (Andrew Luck) throws for. I’ve never honestly been in a situation like this ever when it came to playing football. That’s why I’m so happy and so grateful for it. With how hard I work and how dedicated I am to playing this game, the sky is the limit for me when it comes to being in a situation like this.”

Dorsett caught just 36 passes last season, primarily because the Hurricanes were using a freshman quarterback. But he still had 10 touchdown passes and displayed the speed (4.27-second 40-yard dash at pro day) and intensity that the Colts liked.

The initial expectation is for Dorsett to play in the slot as well as return kicks. The Colts released return specialist Josh Cribbs Friday.Dorsett was asked if Hilton and Pittsburgh Steelers standout Antonio Brown have similar styles.

“Definitely, those are two of the guys that are similar build, but do way more than just stretch the field,” the 5-10, 185-pound receiver said. “(They) do a lot more things underneath. If I can be half of what they are, I’ll definitely be successful. They are two of the best receivers in the league, so why wouldn’t you want to model your game after them?”

He benefited from having NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter as a high school coach. Carter’s son, Duron, recently signed with the Colts after playing in the Canadian Football League.

Carter taught, “How to be more than just a speed receiver, coming in and out of your breaks faster, catching the ball in traffic, high pointing the ball, using body control, a whole bunch of different things. I’m blessed to be able to have him in my corner. Like I said, he taught me a lot, and I wouldn’t be the receiver I am today if I didn’t have him.”

Dorsett laughed when asked if he embraced the competition from being on a team with so many other talented wide receivers.

“I went to Miami. I always embrace competition,” he said, still smiling. “Going to Miami, there’s competition everywhere. You’ve got some of the best people from all over the country. I always embrace competition. I’m not shying away from it, so it’s nothing different to me.”

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Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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