Colts add 15 undrafted free agents

Eight defensive, seven offensive players agree to terms.

The Indianapolis Colts announced Monday they have agreed to terms on contracts with 15 undrafted free agents.

Those players are Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett, Auburn wide receiver Quan Bray, Western Michigan cornerback Donald Celiscar, San Diego State linebacker Cody Galea, Cincinnati linebacker Terrell Hartsfield, Harvard linebacker Zachary Hodges, Nebraska cornerback Joshua Mitchell, San Diego State wide receiver Ezell Ruffin, West Chester cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz, Massachusetts tight end Jean Sifrin, Purdue tight end Justin Sinz, Clemson safety Robert Smith, Toledo linebacker Junior Sylvestre, Yale running back Tyler Varga and Northwestern center Brandon Vitabile.

To make room on the roster, the Colts waived wide receiver Kadron Boone, defensive end Gannon Conway, running back Jeff Demps and offensive tackle Matt Hall.

Rookie mini-camp is Friday through Sunday at the team complex.

Bennett, 6-2, 211 pounds, played in 27 games (27 starts) at Southeastern Louisiana, throwing for 5,522 yards with 39 touchdowns in two seasons as the starting quarterback. He also rushed for 1,715 yards and 31 touchdowns in his career for the Lions. Bennett ran for 1,046 yards and 16 touchdowns his junior season en route to being named Southland Conference Player of the Year. He accounted for 4,211 yards of total offense and 37 touchdowns that season. Prior to Southeastern Louisiana, Bennett spent two seasons at Oregon, backing up Darron Thomas in 2011 and Marcus Mariota in 2012. He played in 18 games for the Ducks and posted 580 passing yards with nine touchdowns and 365 rushing yards with six touchdowns.

Bray, 5-10, 195 pounds, finished his career at Auburn with 90 receptions for 849 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranks third in school history in punt return average (10.09) among players with at least 50 returns and eighth in punt return yardage (565). As a senior in 2014, he finished second in the nation in punt returns (18.1) and was a Second Team All-SEC selection as a return specialist, voted by the league’s coaches. Bray became the first player in Auburn history to score a rushing, receiving and punt return touchdown in the same season.

Celiscar, 5-11, 183 pounds, totaled 247 tackles, 10 interceptions and 55 passes defensed in his career at Western Michigan. Along with teammate Ronald Zamort, the two led the nation in passes defensed per game (1.6) in 2014. As a senior, Celiscar earned First Team All-MAC honors after finishing the year with 17 passes defensed and tied for the team lead with four interceptions. On one occasion each in 2013 and 2014, he was selected as the MAC West Defensive Player of the Week.

Galea, 6-3, 255 pounds, totaled 114 tackles (68 solo), 7.5 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one pass defensed at San Diego State. He finished his collegiate career with 35 consecutive starts and assisted a SDSU defense that concluded the 2014 season ranked 16th nationally in total defense. Last season, Galea established career highs with 50 tackles (34 solo), 3.0 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

Hartsfield, 6-3, 246 pounds, recorded 61 tackles (35 solo), 10.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and three passes defensed in two seasons with the Cincinnati Bearcats. Last season, he led the American Athletic Conference and ranked in the Top 25 in the FBS with 9.0 sacks. He added 12 tackles for loss en route to First Team All-AAC honors. Hartsfield helped the Bearcats close the 2014 regular season with seven consecutive wins. Prior to his tenure at Cincinnati, he started at Hargrave Military Academy followed by Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Hodges, 6-3, 235 pounds, compiled 26.0 sacks and 41 tackles for loss at Harvard and was a three-time First Team All-Ivy League selection (2012-14). As a senior, he tallied 8.5 sacks and was invited to play in the 2015 Senior Bowl. That season, Hodges was named co-Defensive Player of the Year as well as earning Second Team Associated Press FCS All-America honors. In 2013, he earned the Asa S. Bushnell Cup as Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year after finishing the season with 40 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He led the conference in sacks, was second in tackles for loss and ranked fifth in the nation with four forced fumbles.

Mitchell, 5-9, 173 pounds, played in 47 games (28 starts) at Nebraska, finishing his career with 104 tackles (79 solo), 3.0 sacks, three interceptions, 25 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. As a senior, he earned All-Big Ten honorable mention honors from the league’s coaches and the media after a standout year in which he made 39 tackles (33 solo), 2.0 sacks, 13 passes defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery, which he returned 57 yards for a touchdown against Miami. Mitchell’s 25 career passes defensed rank eighth in Nebraska school history. He was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Ruffin, 6-0, 218 pounds, played in 32 games in three seasons at San Diego State. He caught 111 passes for 1,877 yards (16.9 avg.) and five touchdowns. Ruffin was limited by injury his senior year and played in just seven games, catching 26 passes for 422 yards (16.2 avg.) and two touchdowns. The best season of his collegiate career came in 2013, when he totaled 68 receptions for 1,136 yards (16.7 avg.) and three touchdowns. Ruffin’s 87.4 receiving yards per game average ranked No. 29 in the nation. He was an All-Mountain West honorable mention pick for his performances that season.

Shabazz, 6-0, 200 pounds, played in 47 games in four seasons at West Chester University, compiling 151 tackles (100 solo), nine interceptions, 5.0 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one blocked kick and 32 passes defensed. In 2014, his 15 passes defensed set a new single-season career-high and his four interceptions tied a single-season career-high. Shabazz also had two interception returns for touchdowns in college, including a 76-yard pick six his junior season in 2013.

Sifrin, 6-5, 245 pounds, played in 11 games (nine starts) in one season at the University of Massachusetts. He caught 42 passes for 642 yards (15.3 avg.) and six touchdowns en route to being named an All-MAC first-team tight end. Sifrin finished second on the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He set career highs for receptions (eight) against Bowling Green and receiving yards (185) at Toledo. Prior to his season at UMass, Sifrin played one year at El Camino Junior College and had 18 catches for 328 yards and five touchdowns.

Sinz, 6-4, 249 pounds, finished his career at Purdue with 80 receptions for 670 yards (8.4 avg.) and seven touchdowns. He was named an Academic All-Big Ten selection in four consecutive years from 2011-14. As a senior in 2014, Sinz caught 32 passes for 257 yards and two scores. His best year came as a junior when he caught a team-high 41 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns, which also led the team. Sinz ended his collegiate career having caught at least one pass in his last 24 games played. He is a native of Edgar, Wisconsin and was the Wisconsin Player of the Year as a senior at Edgar High School.

Smith, 5-10, 204 pounds, played in 53 games in four years at Clemson, making 11 starts. He tallied 182 tackles, 1.0 sack, six tackles for loss, four interceptions, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries and seven passes defensed for the Tigers. Smith finished his career tied for fourth in school history for games played. He started 12-of-13 games his senior season and had a single season career-high in tackles with 80 to go along with 2.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, one pass defensed and two fumble recoveries. Smith earned All-ACC honorable mention honors from both the league’s coaches and the media in 2014. He also was a two-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member.

Sylvestre, 6-0, 222 pounds, was a First Team All-MAC selection following his junior and senior seasons at Toledo. He ended his career with 286 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one interception, three forced fumbles and eight passes defensed. In 2014, Sylvestre assisted the Rockets in ranking first in the conference and 14th in the nation in rush defense, giving up only 3.5 yards per carry and 116 yards per game.

Varga, 5-11, 222 pounds, was a three-time All-Ivy honoree and finished his collegiate career at Yale ranked fourth in rushing yards (2,985), fifth in attempts (529), third in rushing touchdowns (31) and second in yards per carry average (5.6). He had 17 games with 100-plus rushing yards in college and three games over 200 yards. Varga was a First Team All-Ivy selection his senior season after rushing for 1,423 yards and 26 total touchdowns, which is a Yale school record. He also averaged 6.1 yards per carry and 142 yards per game. Varga served as a captain of the North squad at the 2015 Senior Bowl, where he rushed for two touchdowns.

Vitabile, 6-3, 310 pounds, started all 50 games he played in during his four years at Northwestern. He was a two-time team captain and earned All-Big Ten honorable mention honors twice. In 2014, Vitabile helped running back Justin Jackson rush for 1,187 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also a Rimington Trophy candidate, which is given to the nation’s top center annually. In 2013, Vitabile helped the Wildcats average 172.4 rushing yards per game. He was also a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.


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


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