UNH standout angles for NFL

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BARRE, Vt. (AP) – A standout wide receiver for the University of New Hampshire and Spaulding High School has signed a contract with an agent as he angles for a career in the NFL.

David Ball said he would be represented by Ralph Cindrich of Debartolo Sports and Entertainment in Pittsburgh, the same man who represented legend Jerry Rice.

“I just made sure I picked the right personality who I wanted representing me when I wasn’t in the room with them – that they would be classy and they would do the right things,” Ball said.

Ball finished his collegiate career at New Hampshire with a record 58 touchdown receptions. That broke the previous record of 50 set by Rice. Ball’s career receiving yardage of 4,655 was second in the record books and he matched Rice’s record of completing 23 games with 100 yards or more.

Rice was a childhood idol of Ball’s, although signing with his agents was just chance.

“Anybody that Jerry Rice is involved with, I know that I can trust that they’re good people,” Ball said. “They didn’t have him shaking my hand – they didn’t use Jerry Rice to get me to go – so it is a little bit of a coincidence, but it’s definitely great. Jerry Rice is there for assistance with any player coming in, and he’ll be putting me through the same workouts that helped him get to where he did. And Joe Montana is also involved, so I can talk with him whenever I need to.”

Ball is aiming for the NFL Scouting Combine, where coaches from all 32 NFL teams take the measure of top college football players in advance of the upcoming draft. The camp will be held Feb. 21-27 in Indianapolis, where only 300 players were invited to attend. Among those athletes, only a handful competed at smaller, Division I-AA schools like UNH.

“I feel pretty good, but these guys are world-class athletes,” Ball said. “They’re the best at what they do, and they’re all I-A kids. I’m one of probably five or six I-AA kids there out of 300 invitations.”

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