When quarterback Caleb Hanie arrived at Colorado State University as a freshman, tight end Joel Dreessen was a senior.
Hanie joked Monday that he remembered Dreessen not only because he learned from that senior class, but the older players also didn’t hesitate to pick on him.
The two remained in touch, and now both are back in Colorado, signing with the Broncos as free agents.
“It feels good to be back in the Denver area,” Hanie said. “I loved Colorado and still do, and always thought about living back there, so what a great opportunity for me and my family.”
Dreessen called it a “dream come true,” coming back to where he played his high school and college football, living so close to some of his family members.
But joining the Broncos wasn’t all about the location.
Both players mentioned the addition of Peyton Manning as one of the draws to putting on orange and blue.
“It’s no secret that Peyton Manning makes everybody he plays with better,” Dreessen said. “Obviously for that opportunity, I’m very excited about that, and I’m hoping to get a lot better.”
But even more than that, both said it feels like an exciting time to be a Bronco.
Dreessen, who called himself a “complete tight end” that can both catch and block, said watching some of Denver’s wins last season has him excited “to build on that experience.”
“Being on a good team was another factor,” the quarterback said. “Last year they had a great team and a great defense and their offensive line is stellar. They have a couple young receivers that are promising with (Eric) Decker and Demaryius (Thomas) and (Matthew) Willis -– and they just signed Andre Caldwell, too. What’s not to like about it?”