Report: Jean Sifrin expected to enter NFL Draft

By Mark Chiarelli

Photo by Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian
Photo by Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian

UPDATE (1/13): Massachusetts football coach Mark Whipple officially announced Tuesday that tight end Jean Sifrin would forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft. “As a program, we are very happy for Jean to have this chance to pursue his goals at the NFL level,” Whipple said. “When we spoke, we told him that we supported his decision because of how it can benefit him and his family.”

For those holding out hope that Massachusetts football tight end Jean Sifrin would return for his senior season in 2015, you may be out of luck.

According to a report from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, those close to the Minutemen are preparing for the 27-year-old tight end to forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft. It’s a decision which Sifrin has mulled since November.

The report indicates it’s unclear whether Sifrin has officially filed paperwork with the NFL declaring himself for the draft. All underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to officially become draft eligible.

Throughout the season, Sifrin spoke of balancing the importance of earning a degree with the ability to immediately provide for his family by earning an NFL contract. It appears he’s inching closer to make a definitive decision.

“It’s not a tough decision,” Sifrin said in November. “It’s just timing. It’s basically coming out at the right time.”

Sifrin arrived in Amherst as a bit of a mystery as a transfer from El Camino Community College in California. He led a winding path, originally working directly after high school to support his son and girlfriend instead of pursuing an athletic career. He eventually played football and basketball at Asa College (Brooklyn, New York) in 2011 before being dismissed from the program. He enrolled at El Camino in 2013.

Initially, Sifrin was ineligible to play or practice with the Minutemen while he awaited clearance from the NCAA. He missed all of training camp and the season opener against Boston College before making his debut against Colorado in the second game of the season.

Once he did, he performed.

He caught 42 passes for 642 yards, which was the fourth highest mark for tight ends in the country, and six touchdowns. He earned first-team Mid-American Conference honors and was under consideration for the John Mackey Award, which is given to the nation’s best tight end.

Sifrin is considered a potential late-round selection. He offers considerable receiving skills but wasn’t a prolific blocker. His basketball background is considered a plus, and at the age of 27, knew the clock was ticking.

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli.