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Kent State wrestler agrees on free agent deal with Pats

04.27.09 at 6:44 pm ET

Jermail Porter, a wrestler out of Kent State, has reached an agreement on a free agent deal with the Patriots.

An All-American wrestler, the 285-pound Porter likely translates as an offensive lineman in the NFL. However, he is a huge project — he told that he has never played organized football at any level, but was told by Kent State assistant football coach Larry McDaniel he should think about a career in professional football. That led to a conversation with agent Neil Cornrich, who matched him with New England.

”It was unexpected for me,” Porter told ”It’s a new adventure.”

If he makes the team, the 22-year-old Porter will follow in the same footsteps as New England offensive lineman Stephen Neal. Neal was a former collegiate wrestling champion who didn’t play football while at Cal-State Bakersfield, but won two NCAA titles, as well as  the Dan Hodge Award, Wrestling’s Heisman Trophy, in 1999. However, Neal was also guided to Cornrich with the same idea. He was signed by New England in 2001, and has gone on to become a key member of the Patriots offensive line at right guard.

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