HARTFORD - The Hartford Colonials stayed at home and selected former University of Connecticut running back Andre Dixon with its first-round pick in the 2010 United Football League draft.
Andre Dixon will play his first year as a pro where he played his college ball - Rentschler Field.
“It’s special,” said Dixon, the second overall pick in the draft. “I’ve been in Connecticut for a couple years now. Just to stay here at home now, I’m used to it. Playing at The Rent is special. It’s a special day for me.”
The Colonials also drafted former Notre Dame fullback Asaph Schwapp, a Hartford native who played at Weaver High School. Hartford drafted three offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, two linebackers, two wide receivers and two running backs. The draft was 12 rounds.
Dixon, the second overall pick, rushed for 1,093 yards and 14 touchdowns on 239 carries in 13 games with UConn last year. He also caught 11 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown.
A native of New Brunswick, N.J., Discon was named MVP of the 2010 PapaJohns.com Bowl on Jan. 2 in Birmingham, Ala. In that game, he carried 33 times for 126 yards and scored a touchdown to lead UConn to a 20-7 victory over South Carolina.
Dixon, who graduated with a degree in sociology, earned All-Big East Second Team honors in 2007 and ’09. As a sophomore in 2007, he led the team with 828 rushing yards on 167 carries (5.0 avg.) and ran for three touchdowns. In addition, he had 24 receptions for 280 yards and one TD.
During his career at UConn, Dixon rushed for 1,958 yards and 20 touchdowns. He gained 100 yards or more in nine games. As a receiver, Dixon caught 37 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns.
Dickson impressed the Palmer and the coaching staff during a workout May 22 in Danbury. Palmer also spoke with UConn football coach Randy Edsall.
“I got a call from Randy Edsall, and Randy endorsed him 100 percent. Not only as a player but as a person,” Palmer said. “I thought being our first pick, he was worthy of that honor. Hopefully he’s going to have a great career here in Hartford.”
On the overall draft, Palmer said, “It all fell into place. We got everybody that we wanted. The work has just begun.”
The Colonials will sign 19 players on Thursday, bringing the roster to 70 for mini-camp June 11-13 at Sage Park in Berlin. The season opener is Sep. 18 against Sacramento at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
The Hartford Colonials’ 12 draft picks:
Player, Position, College
Andre Dixon, RB, Connecticut
Anthony Montgomery, DL, Minnesota
Shawn Bayes, WR, Kent State
Andre Barbour, OL, Eastern Kentucky
Simoni Lawrence, LB, Minnesota
Tim Mattran, OL, Stanford
Robert Ortiz, WR, San Diego State
Asaph Schwapp, FB, Notredame
Brandon Drumgoole, DL, Greensboro College
Ben Benshoof, OL, Wingage
Clint McPeek, LB, New Mexico
Kendall Brisco, DT, New Mexico