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The new 'tight end U:' How Indiana State played a big role in the Packers' season

Indiana State has sent only 12 players to the NFL. Two of them caught touchdowns for the Packers last Sunday.
Robert Tonyan
Posted at 7:53 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 20:53:26-05

Throughout its history, Indiana State University has sent only 12 players to the NFL.

Two of them caught touchdowns for the Packers last Sunday.

"It's exciting for us because we've seen where they came from," Sycamores head coach Curt Mallory said in an interview with NBC 26.

"I'm so proud of Dom and Rob and where they've come from and how hard they've worked. A lot of our players... They're extremely proud."

Before Robert Tonyan's emergence, ISU alumni had totaled just three NFL touchdowns. Tonyan had that in one game this season (October 5 against the Falcons), and finished the year with 11 - tying the Packers franchise record for the most by a tight end.

"I can remember when I was first hired here at Indiana State the first question I asked was who's number 18!?," Mallory said. "One of the coaches who was here the year before said he's graduated and he'll probably be in the NFL. And he was exactly right."

Now another Sycamore has emerged. Dominique Dafney - who spent last year at Indiana State after transferring from Iowa, caught his first career touchdown on Sunday in the Packers win over the Bears.

"Dominique Dafney... Who would have called that one? Not you and not me," Aaron Rodgers joked following the game.

"He's been a big boost for us," Matt LaFleur said. "The game's not too big for him and that's evident. He walks in that huddle there's no doubt he knows he belongs and it's evident by the play on the field."

"There's a lot to do with not only Indiana State but also Iowa," Mallory added. "I'm awfully proud of him."

The duo of Dafney and Tonyan seems to be forming a new crop of Packers fans in Western Indiana.

"I've always been a Packer fan," Mallory said. "I've always followed them but having two Syacmores there, I've been watching them a little more closely this year."