Tiffin University QB Pipkin signs with Cardinals

He didn’t get drafted, but Tiffin University quarterback Antonio Pipkin has what he wants.

An opportunity.

Pipkin signed with the Arizona Cardinals Saturday, and is set to attend the team’s rookie camp in two weeks.

And Pipkin said he’s going there with a purpose.

“I want to show the other 31 teams they missed out on a great player,” Pipkin said.

The 6-foot-1, 221-pounder played at the Senior Bowl in January, and there were some thought that he might become the first Dragon selected in an NFL Draft.

But not being selected has its advantages.

“All we can ask for is for him to give them a chance,” Dragons’ coach Gary Goff said. “We were hoping he’d be drafted, obviously, but once you get to the later rounds, it’s almost better to not be drafted.”

That’s because an undrafted player can choose the best situation for him. And for Pipkin, that spot was Arizona.

“I got a call from my agent saying the (Cardinals’) staff really liked me,” Pipkin said.

There’s plenty to like.

Pipkin earned all-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in all four of his seasons at TU, and in his senior year, threw 25 touchdowns against eight interceptions and ran for 757 yards. He was named the conference’s player of the year.

Goff said when he talked to Pipkin Saturday night, he had a message for him.

“Rookie camp, go there with a chip on your shoulder, but be yourself,” Goff said. “You’re gonna have a career playing pro ball.”

Pipkin said he’ll be ready.

“I’m going in, I gotta grind, make my mark first day I show up in Arizona,” he said. “I didn’t get to see my name across the (draft) ticker, but I still have an opportunity.”

Goff said it was a big day for TU. Earlier in the day, former NFL receiver Nate Washington — who played football at Tiffin before going on to win two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers — walked with graduating students after completing his degree online this spring.

“I don’t know if our program had a better day than today,” Goff said.