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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent and has taken steps toward making himself available for an NFL supplemental draft.
Pryor’s lawyer, Larry James, said Monday that Pryor was in Miami and had signed an agreement with Rosenhaus, a high-powered agent who represents some of the biggest names in sports. His client list includes standout wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco along with former Ohio State running back and Pryor teammate Chris “Beanie” Wells, now with the Arizona Cardinals.
“I am happy that he has reached this point and he’s in secure hands,” James said of Pryor.
Pryor, James and at least two other people spent the past few days discussing the quarterback’s options in terms of agents. Then Pryor flew to Miami on Sunday and signed a contract with Rosenhaus late on Monday morning.
James also formally notified Ohio State that Pryor had signed with an agent, which officially made the three-year starter ineligible in the eyes of the university and the NCAA. That clears the way for the next step in Pryor’s hopes of making it into the NFL.
“The university declares him ineligible,” James said. “Therefore, that is a prerequisite to being eligible for the supplemental draft.”
Pryor announced last week that he would not return to the team for his senior season. He had already been suspended by Ohio State and the NCAA for the first five games of the 2011 season for accepting improper benefits in the form of cash and discounted tattoos from a Columbus tattoo-parlor owner. The NCAA is investigating all aspects of Ohio State’s athletic program, particularly the football team.
The probe led to the forced resignation of head coach Jim Tressel on May 30. Tressel has admitted he knew his players were taking improper benefits but covered it up for more than nine months before Ohio State officials discovered his knowledge.
Rosenhaus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pryor cannot be signed as a free agent by an NFL team. The NFL, currently embroiled in a work stoppage with the players, will likely schedule a supplemental draft for July or August. The draft follows a similar pattern to that of the regular draft in the spring. The NFL team selecting Pryor would surrender its pick in the same round in the regular draft in 2012.
The 6-foot-6, 233-pounder from Jeannette, Pa., is Ohio State’s all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks, with 2,164 yards. He also matched Bobby Hoying’s school record for touchdown passes with 57.
While marveling at his size and speed, many draft experts have questioned his footwork, his throwing motion, his arm strength and his ability to read defenses. Some have even said Pryor should forget about playing quarterback and shift to wide receiver, tight end or some other position.
NFL draft analyst and former Dallas Cowboys general manager Gil Brandt has his doubts about Pryor but takes a wait-and-see approach. He said there’s no reason for Pryor to change positions — at least not right away.
“See if he can play the position first of all. But for him to play the position, I think it’s going to take a lot of training,” he said. “It’s going to take a person really dedicated to playing football. The things that I hear, he maybe doesn’t have that type of dedication.”