When the Indianapolis Colts cut their former second-round pick, Ben Ijalana, after the final game of the preseason schedule, he was bound to find a home. NFL teams are constantly looking for big bodies to protect their expensive quarterbacks and open up running lanes. The New York Jets' offensive line was in particular need of some help, and that drew their attention to the 2011 Villanova graduate, picking him up off of the waiver wire.
Indy we'll continue our love affair some other time. You were good to me. Thank you 🎩— Ben Ijalana (@TheBiggerBen) September 2, 2013
Ijalana struggled with injuries after being picked by the Colts following a very successful career in Blue and White. He has had multiple hip surgeries and tore his ACL during training camp last season and only played in four games during his rookie campaign.
Despite those concerns, the Jets recognized that Ijalana was one of the top performers among offensive linemen who were cut loose this weekend. According to Pro Football Focus, he was graded a 4.2 for the preseason, behind only Tony Pashos and John Malecki.
The move brings Ijalana back to his home state, New Jersey, and will reunite him with former Villanova strength coach Justus Galac. Under Galac's watch, Ijalana turned from a skilled freshman to Villanova's highest NFL draft pick since Howie Long, now the lineman will work with him again as the head of the NFL Jets' strength and conditioning program.