POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Marist's Michael Rios has signed a one-year free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins.
In 2013, Rios became the first Marist football player to sign a contract with a National Football League team when he signed a rookie free-agent deal with the Arizona Cardinals shortly following the conclusion of the draft. He suffered a foot injury last summer, and was waived in July.
Rios is a Miami native who is thrilled to be joining his hometown team.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me, people who have stuck with me through the highs and lows,” Rios said. “I’m really looking forward to this opportunity with the Dolphins. It’s a dream come true.”
Rios has been represented by Sean Stellato since December 2013. Rios credits Stellato, who played both football and basketball at Marist from 1997-2001, for “re-energizing” him. Like Rios, Stellato also played wide receiver for the Red Foxes.
“His work ethic and the way he approaches his life is contagious,” Rios said of Stellato. “He’s a genuine guy.”
Rios is Marist's all-time leader in career touchdown receptions with 17. In his final season with the Red Foxes in 2012, he set single-game (244) and single-season (1,173) program records for receiving yards, as well as the single-season record for touchdown receptions (10). He became the first player in program history to record 200 yards receiving in a game this past season, a feat he accomplished twice. Rios also was on the receiving end of the longest play in program history, when he and Chuckie Looney connected on a 97-yard touchdown pass at Valparaiso on Oct. 27, 2012. He appeared in 44 collegiate games from 2008-12.
Rios is also an accomplished special teams player. He blocked seven kicks in his career, including five field goals, a punt and an extra point. In his first three collegiate games in 2008, he blocked a punt, extra point and field goal in successive weeks. He also blocked three kicks in 2010, including two field goals in the same game. In addition to seeing time on various kick-blocking units, he also served as the gunner in punt coverage through this season.
“I’m very happy for him,” Head Coach Jim Parady said. “He’s worked very hard to come back from his injury. It’s a special day for the football program, not only for him signing, but to be represented by Sean.”