Where are they now?: Dan Orlovsky
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 00:09
Despite what current students may think, UConn has only recently joined the ranks of Division I football in the Big East. While former head coach Randy Edsall is given most of the credit for propelling the Huskies from a Division I-AA team to where they are now, quarterback Dan Orlovsky cannot be forgotten.
As a high school senior, Orlovsky threw for 2,489 yards and 58 touchdowns while leading Shelton High School in Connecticut to an undefeated season and a state championship. Despite offers from Purdue and Michigan State, Orlovsky chose to remain in his home state and committed to UConn, a program that was trying to make the transition into Division I. A starter by the end of his freshmen year, Orlovsky made his biggest impact during his junior season in 2003, when he led the Huskies to a 9-3 record, their first winning season in Division I. Orlovsky also led Division I with 33 touchdown passes that season. In 2004, the Huskies made the transition into the Big East and Orlovsky led them to their first ever bowl appearance, a 39-10 victory over Toledo in the Motor City Bowl.
Orlovsky still holds school records for most pass completions (916), pass attempts (1,567), yards passing (10,706), touchdown passes (84) and interceptions (51).
After his stellar career at UConn, Orlovsky was drafted in the fifth round (145th overall) of the 2005 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. Orlovsky has since struggled to make an impact in the NFL. He toiled as a backup in Detroit before making his first NFL start on October 12, 2008 against the Minnesota Vikings. The most memorable play of that game was when Orlovsky inadvertently ran out of the back of his own end zone, resulting in a safety and two points for the Vikings. The Lions would end up losing the game by those two points. Orlovsky also started the final game of the 2008 season for the Lions, a loss that resulted in Detroit becoming the first team in NFL history to go 0-16.
Orlovsky has since played for the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts, where, on December 18, 2011, he won his first game as a starter in the NFL. Orlovsky is currently the backup quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.