It turns out this isn’t the first time the Colts have expressed interest in Joe Horn.
It is, however, the first time Joe Horn has accepted their offer.
“Funny story — the Baltimore Colts invited my grandpa Joe (Horn) to training camp back in the ’60s,” the younger Joe Horn said Wednesday from the now Indianapolis Colts practice facility in Indianapolis. “But he decided not to go.”
The younger Joe Horn wasn’t about to do that when the Colts contacted his agent on Tuesday and offered him a free agent contract.
“They were the No. 1 team I wanted to go to all along,” Horn said. “I think we are going to be a really good fit.”
Horn, a 5-foot-11, 179-pound wide receiver, will get his best opportunity for making the team on special teams. The Colts need a kick returner, something the speedy Horn did at Ashland University. He also played a lot on punt blocks and punt returns.
But he is also thrilled with the prospect of playing with Colt’s quarterback Peyton Manning.
“To be able to play with one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game is just surreal,” Horn said. “And the Colts are just a great fit for me in the way they play the game. There are so many people to learn from, like Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon, who have a wealth of knowledge.”
Horn reported to Indianapolis on Wednesday, where he was issued his helmet, pads and playbook and met with team doctors.
The Colts begin practice Monday at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind.
As a senior at Ashland, Horn caught a team-high 49 passes for 878 yards and 12 touchdowns. For his career, he led Ashland in receiving touchdowns (28) and yards (2,681).
While the signing of an undrafted free agent from a small college usually doesn’t draw a lot of attention nationally, Horn’s signing did provide some humorous moments on Twitter on Wednesday as several tweeters confused him with retired New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn.
“I thought he was retired,” tweeted one. “How old is he?”
Horn, who tweets under “SundaysWith16” now, posted a photo of his new helmet with the caption, “Blue and white never looked so good.”
For Horn, the job now is to make the team.
“If they invite you into camp, they expect you to make the team,” Horn said.
Horn isn’t the first small-school wide receiver the Colts have given a shot. Garcon is a product of Division III Mount Union.
Now he hopes to make his hometown of Waynesfield proud.
“I think there are probably a lot more Colts fans in Waynesfield than there used to be,” he said. “I’m glad I’ve got the chance to make them proud.”