Five years ago, former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton was a high school senior with just two NCAA Division I scholarship offers.
One Rose Bowl Championship and 42 wins later, the Katy, Tex. native is a second round draft pick.
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Dalton on Friday with the 35th overall pick of the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
After being passed over in the first round Thursday night and having to wait an extra 19 hours for the draft to resume, Dalton was taken by the Bengals just 20 minutes and three picks into the second round.
Dalton was the fifth quarterback taken off the board behind Auburn’s Cam Newton (first overall), Washington’s Jake Locker (eighth overall), Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert (10th overall) and Florida State’s Christian Ponder (12th overall).
Dalton joined Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green (fourth overall) as the Bengals second pick of the draft.
With current Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer threatening to retire if not traded, Dalton should have a chance at the starting job when the team opens training camp.
TCU director of media relations Mark Cohen said Dalton is the ideal representative for the TCU program on the NFL stage.
“We couldn’t be more proud or excited for Andy,” Cohen said. “He has been the perfect ambassador for TCU. We’re all Bengals fans now.”
Cohen said the vast amount of draft coverage surrounding Dalton in recent months, and in particular the past 24-48 hours, has shone a positive light on not just the football program but the university as a whole.
“It’s been tremendous exposure for TCU,” Cohen said. “Look at all the draft coverage the past few months and how much that TCU name has been out there.”
Dalton is the 25th TCU player to be drafted in Gary Patterson era and the highest offensive player to be drafted since running back LaDainian Tomlinson was taken fifth overall by the San Diego Chargers in 2001.