But the JCA and Stanford grad won’t be sporting the Bears’ blue and orange. Instead, Fleener will don a blue and white jersey as the Colts’ number 80.
When Fleener steps onto the turf at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, the Lemont native may feel right at home. But that sense of familiarity won't just be about geography. The 23-year-old, 6-foot-6-inch, 252-pound tight end will take the field with his friend and former Stanford teammate, quarterback Andrew Luck.
Stanford standout Fleener was tagged by the Colts in the second round of the NFL draft this spring - the first tight end to be drafted, and the 34th pick overall.
According to stats listed on the Colts' team roster, while at Stanford, Fleener:
- Appeared in 51 games (16 starts) with the Cardinals, amassing 1,543 yards and 18 touchdowns on 96 receptions. Also contributed with three solo tackles and two blocked kicks.
- Earned first-team All-America honors from Sporting News, adding second-team accolades from Yahoo! Sports and third-team recognition from The NFL Draft Report following his senior season.
- Was named a first-team All-Pac 12 Conference selection in 2011 and a second-team All-Pac-10 Conference choice by the league’s coaches and media in 2010.
- Recorded 10 touchdown grabs in 2011 to tie Troy Walters (1999) and Ken Margerum (1979) for third on the Cardinal season record list.
- Tied Tony Hill (1973-1976) and Vincent White (1979-1982) for fifth on the school career record list with 18 touchdown receptions.
- Set the Stanford record for highest average per reception by a tight end (19.6) as a senior, ranking fifth on the school’s overall annual record chart.
At Joliet Catholic Academy, Fleener received all-conference, all-area, all-state and all-academic honors. During his senior year, he had 34 receptions for 706 yards and eight touchdowns, and was rated the state’s 15th-best overall prospect and the 40th-best tight end in the nation by Rivals.com.