Former UMass tight end Jean Sifrin participates in UMass’ 2016 Pro Day

By Anthony Chiusano

(Collegian File Photo)


While Thursday’s Pro Day served as a first chance for many former Massachusetts football players to make a name for themselves in front of an array of NFL scouts, it was nothing new for Jean Sifrin.

Sifrin, an imposing 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end prospect, shined for UMass in his one season in Amherst in 2014, where he hauled in 42 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns after transferring from ASA College at age 27.

He then decided to forego his final season of college eligibility and declared for the NFL Draft, where he was an undrafted free agent signing by the Indianapolis Colts following a subpar NFL Draft Combine (4.84 40-yard dash time), and again at UMass’ 2015 Pro Day where he ran it in 4.77 seconds with the wind and 4.87 against it.

But after being waived by the Colts three weeks into their organized team activities in June, Sifrin spent the past year training and returned to McGuirk Stadium Thursday to compete in this year’s Pro Day.

“I made it too close to just give up right now,” Sifrin said. “I already got my foot in the door, it’s just being more focused when I get into camp, that’s really what it is.”

Sifrin participated in all outdoor events Thursday, including the 40-yard dash and 3-cone drill, while running routes and catching passes from former UMass quarterback Blake Frohnapfel. Sifrin was thrown to seven times and dropped one pass.

“Just having him out there, he’s huge. If you missed him (on a throw), it’s like you really missed him,” Frohnapfel said. “Having him my junior year was awesome and having him back here (Thursday), he was still in great shape.”

Sifrin said he used Thursday’s event as a way to compile more film of himself as he prepares to be part of the new Major League Football, an eight-team league that will begin its inaugural season this spring.

“Yeah, I stayed in shape but I didn’t get the numbers that I was wishing for in the 40, which is the most important part. But right now, teams aren’t looking at me for my numbers, they want to see more blocking,” he said. “So lucky for me, I’m part of the Major League Football which just started, so I get a chance to get film from there. So I’ll be ready for August when camp starts.”

Sifrin said he was considering joining the Canadian Football League before the new league, based in the United States, emerged.

“I was going to go (to the) CFL but luckily then it came so I don’t have to go to Canada anymore and be in the cold all year,” he joked. “It was a great opportunity and I’m lucky to have it.”

Sifrin, who’s also working on finishing his degree in business management, said he spent most of the past year training following his release from the Colts last summer. He added that he used his experiences from last season’s pre-draft process and short time in NFL training camp to learn from his mistakes and further motivate him.

“Study. Study that playbook because it’s a lot,” Sifrin said. “That’s the biggest thing. Everybody else is an athlete, so it’s just knowing the plays better than the next person.”

He added: “The same people who were there aren’t there motivating you. You basically got to be self-motivated and really want it. I’m dedicated, that’s why I’m here.”

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.