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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 10, 2002

Lelie leaving Warriors for NFL

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i wide receiver Ashley Lelie has applied for the National Football League draft and reached an agreement with a sports agency, ending his collegiate career with the Warriors.

Lelie and UH coach June Jones have repeatedly denied a decision has been reached. But as The Advertiser reported first on its Web site yesterday, Lelie actually applied for the NFL draft last Friday.

Lelie, who will forgo his senior season at UH, also has reached an agreement with Octagon Sports, an international company that represents scores of professional athletes. Octagon has 11 offices, and manages the careers of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, the top pick in last year's NFL draft.

Mike Sullivan, who runs Octagon's football division, said Jones contacted up to 10 NFL teams and was told that Lelie would be drafted between the middle of the first round and the middle of the second round.

Ray Anderson, another Octagon partner, said that if Lelie "does what he's supposed to do, he will earn millions of dollars during his career."

Lelie was unavailable for comment at his parents' home in South Carolina. But an Advertiser source spotted him working out with pro football prospects in Atlanta yesterday, and Anderson and Sullivan confirmed that Lelie had reached an agreement with Octagon and applied for the NFL draft.

Anderson said the 6-foot-3, 197-pound Lelie has hired a personal trainer. Sullivan said Lelie has been invited to participate in the NFL combine for top prospects.

"He's a tall receiver who's extremely fast," Sullivan said.

Lelie was second nationally in receiving yards last season. Last spring, a Philadelphia Eagles scout timed Lelie running 40 yards in 4.27 seconds.

"A lot of people didn't see his games in Hawai'i, but to the people who follow football, he's not a sleeper," Anderson said. "And soon everybody will know that he's not a sleeper. He's a good football player."