DENVER (CBS4) – Fort Morgan native and for Colorado State University star Joel Dreessen has returned to his home state to play for his beloved Denver Broncos. He’s the Broncos’ newest tight end after playing for the Houston Texans since 2007.

“I definitely grew up a Broncos fan but I was employed by other NFL teams,” Dreessen said. “It’s definitely a blessing to come back home and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

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Dreessen had made many trips to Denver from Fort Morgan to see the Broncos play as a youngster.

“My favorite memory of coming to Denver is actually in 1998, the AFC Championship versus the Jets. My buddy’s father was the general manager at the beef packing plant in Fort Morgan, so they got tickets and we came to that game and it was so awesome because they won and they were going to the Super Bowl … and I got on videotape my buddy high-fiving (John Elway).”

A couple years ago in Houston Dreessen caught 38 passes. He can do a little bit of everything on the field, so what’s going to be his role?

“I definitely like to view myself as a complete tight end as far as first down, second down, third down; not leaving the field,” he said. “I can hold my own on the line of scrimmage as well as run all the routes and catch passes and make yards.”

When Dreessen played in Houston he was in the same division as Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. He said Manning could make the Texans frustrated.

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“We would have our scout team of quarterbacks try to emulate what he does, but it never worked. I think during my five years in Houston, when Peyton played, I think we only beat them one time.”

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Dreessen was very comfortable playing in Houston and it came down to the 11th hour for him to decide to play for the Broncos. He said both John Elway and Peyton Manning had a hand in his decision, as well as other aspects.

“Basically it was just that I wanted to get a little bit more out of my career. I’m not getting any younger and there was a lot of upside to coming back home. But most importantly the main factor was I want to find another level to my career and push myself more; and I felt that this opportunity, this challenge would do that.”

Watch more of the video with Dreessen in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.

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– By Matthew J. Buettner,