Dan Connor has never been known to be flashy. The simple blue and white uniform and intimidating stare fit the mold perfectly for the school’s all-time tackles leader.
But as the reigning Bednarik Award winner begins to train for this April’s NFL Draft, all eyes will be on the superstar.
And to make sure those eyes see all the linebacker has to offer, Connor has signed with NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus, who’s known around the league as being fiery, passionate — and certainly flashy.
If Connor registers as a one or a two on the “flashy scale,” then Rosenhaus bursts off it at a 12 or 13. Still, that didn’t stop the linebacker from picking Rosenhaus.
“It was a long process,” said Jim Connor, Connor’s father. “His mother and I spent almost all summer screening different agents and trying to select the best one.
“We actually tried to keep [Dan] out of the process. We got it down to two guys, and after the bowl game Dan sat down with to talk with both of them and he went with Drew.”
According to ESPN.com’s senior draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., Connor is rated as the top overall linebacker heading into the draft and is expected to be selected early in the first round.
Rosenhaus, best known as the agent of the electric and controversial NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, has represented dozens of athletes, including many NFL superstars.
Frank Coyle, a scout at Draftinsiders.com, said that while he can be known to be a spitfire, what makes Rosenhaus a great agent is his commitment to his players.
“Well, he’s professional, and it can certainly be a tough business,” Coyle said. “He goes about for his athletes, and he stuck by T.O. through all of his problems.”
Rosenhaus’ loyalty to his players was never more apparent than a few seasons ago.
In 2003, Rosenhaus represented former University of Miami star Willis McGahee. Despite suffering a catastrophic leg injury in his final game and plummeting on several NFL teams’ draft boards, Rosenhaus helped McGahee to a first-round selection.
That instance, along with his résumé of players, was good enough for Dan, his father said. For Dan, having experience played a major role in his decision.
“Well, he’s handled so many clients,” Jim Connor said, “and he’s got people in a bunch of other age groups. You know Dan’s got some decisions to make with the Senior Bowl and the Combine, and they’ll both sit down and talk about it.”
Rosenhaus has selected five college seniors to represent in the 2008 NFL Draft, according to his company’s Web site. Coincidentally, all of the players come out of the Big Ten.
Connor, who could not be reached for comment, has begun his training in Florida, where his dad says the senior isn’t working on anything in particular, just going through the “normal preparations.”
Connor was a two-time All-American during his career with the Nittany Lions. And with the help of one of the flashiest agents in the NFL, Coyle expects to see the “not so flashy” senior go early in the draft.