STORRS, Conn. (April 24, 2005) Dan Orlovsky was chosen in the fifth round (145th overall) in the National Football Leagues Entry Draft by the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. Orlovsky joins Alfred Fincher as 2005 UConn draftees. Fincher was selected by the New Orleans Saints yesterday in the third round (82nd overall). The only previous instance of UConn teammates being selected in the same draft was in 1962 when Dave Bishop was an 11th round pick of the New York Giants and John Contoulis went to the Minnesota Vikings in the 16th round.
Orlovsky is the first Husky ever selected by the Lions.
This is a day that Dan has been working towards and dreaming about for as long as I have known him, UConn head coach Randy Edsall said. Now that it has come true, I couldnt be happier for him. He has meant so much to this program and this is a just reward for him. He epitomizes what this program is all about in terms of dedication and hard work and I know that he will represent himself and this university well. The Lions are getting a great person and its exciting to see that they would trade up to select him. That indicates just how much the Lions want Dan and how highly they think of him. Dan knows the environment in Detroit from the bowl trip and I think hell do a very good job in their offensive system. I very proud of Dan and happy for him.
The holder of nearly every UConn career and seasonal passing record, Orlovsky capped his four years in Storrs by being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 Motor City Bowl (played on the Lions home turf at Ford Field) where he helped guide UConn to a 39-10 win over Mid-American Conference champion Toledo in the schools bowl game debut. Leading UConn to wins in 21 of its last 28 games, he is third amongst all active players with 84 career touchdown passes and sixth with 10,706 career passing yards. Completing 288 of his 457 passes in 2004 (63-percent), Orlovsky threw for 3,354 yards with 234 touchdowns and 15 interceptions for a 134.71 passing efficiency rating. He ranked fifth in the nation in passing and 15th in total offense. His 23 touchdown passes tied for 18th nationally as did his completion percentage of 63.02. He was twice named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week in 2004, the latter coming after throwing for a school-record 445 yards at Syracuse.
A local hero and state high school Player of the Year at leading Shelton High School, Orlovsky received the Walter Camp Football Foundations Connecticut Player of the Year Award in both 2003 and 2004. He joins 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee Steve Young of Greenwich as the only quarterbacks to ever win the honor. Young won it in 1983 after his senior year at BYU. Orlovsky was also honored with the Bill Lee Award as the states Male Athlete of the Year, as by the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance.