JACKSONVILLE, FLA. (News Release) - Former Stephen F. Austin starting quarterback and 2014 Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year Zach Conque has signed a contract to join the Jacksonville Jaguars' 90-man offseason roster as a tight end, the NFL organization announced Monday morning. A three-time All-Southland honorable mention performer, Conque most recently was a member of the Houston Texans following a three-week stint with the New York Jets' practice squad. He had been an NFL free agent for about two weeks.
Zach, the son of SFA head football coach Clint Conque, became the 76th Lumberjack football player to sign a contract with an NFL team last April when he inked as an undrafted free agent with the Texans. Last August, Conque was waived by Houston with an injury settlement after competing for a spot on the roster at the team's training camp in West Virginia. At 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, Conque made the switch from quarterback to tight end after catching the attention of NFL scouts at the Lumberjack's Pro Day. He posted impressive numbers in drills while working out at both the quarterback and tight end position, running a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash.
Transferring to Nacogdoches after a pair of seasons at UTSA, including a redshirt year as a true freshman, Conque completed his collegiate career at SFA ranking among the all-time Lumberjack leaders in eight statistical categories. His 34 rushing touchdowns rank second in program history, while his 81 touchdowns responsible for and 611 career pass completions both rank third all-time. Conque passed for 6,867 yards and tallied 8,476 total offensive yards throughout his three years in the Purple and White, ranking fourth in school history in both categories. He is sixth all-time in career passing touchdowns (46) and eighth in scoring with 214 points. Gaining 1,602 total yards on the ground for his career as a quarterback, Conque finished 14th in SFA football history and tops among signal callers in rushing yards.
Named All-Southland honorable mention every season competing in the league, Conque completed 64.7% of his passes as a sophomore in 2014. Throwing for 2,733 yards and 15 touchdowns, Conque ran for another 626 yards and 13 touchdowns, the fourth-most in school history in a single season, en route to claiming the Southland Newcomer of the Year plaudit. He led the 'Jacks to an 8-5 overall record and SFA's first FCS playoff appearance since 2010. Named Southland Offensive Player of the Week three times throughout his career, Conque tossed for 2,201 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior in 2016 and rushed for another 422 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a junior in 2015, Conque threw for 1,933 yards and 16 touchdowns, while rushing 139 times for 554 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Conque is one of four former SFA players currently signed with a professional football team, joining defensive end John Franklin, who was recently drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, defensive end Willie Jefferson (Saskatchewan Roughriders) and offensive lineman Terran Vaughn (Saskatchewan Roughriders). Furthermore, Conque is one of five Lumberjacks to have suited up for an NFL team during the Clint Conque era at SFA. He joins running back Gus Johnson (2014), Vaughn (2015), wide receiver Justice Liggins (2016) and Franklin (2017) as former 'Jacks who played for coach Conque at SFA and have made appearances on NFL rosters in recent years.
The Jaguars went 10-6 in 2017 and clinched the AFC South Division after going 9-3 against AFC opponents, before winning two playoff games and reaching the AFC Championship.