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Taking a shot at the NFL

FOOTBALL: Burroughs graduate Eben Britton has decided to forgo his senior season in college and opt for the NFL Draft.

January 07, 2009|By Jeff Tully

BURBANK — It was an opportunity that Eben Britton couldn’t pass up.

As a highly touted junior offensive lineman for the University of Arizona football team, the former Burroughs High standout thought long and hard about possibility forgoing his senior season and opting for the 2009 NFL Draft.

Although his allegiance to the Wildcats program made his decision a difficult one, when he weighed his options, Britton decided to throw his hat in the ring and take his chance with the NFL.

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“It was a very tough decision for me,” said Britton, who redshirted at Arizona four years ago. “At this time in my life and my career, I think it’s the right decision for me.

“It is hard leaving Arizona and the coaches. They really helped me develop as a player, and I owe them a lot I just thought this move is something I needed to do.”

Britton, 21, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound three-year starting left tackle for the Wildcats, has already hired agent Tom Condon of Creative Artists Agency. Condon, a former offensive lineman for Kansas City, has been one of the league’s top agents for more than a decade.

His clients have included Peyton and Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Chad Pennington, Alex Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson and Tony Gonzalez.

Although Britton said he realizes making the transition from college football to the NFL will take a lot of hard work, he believes he’s up for the challenge.

“I feel I’m physically, mentally and emotionally ready to play at the next level,” he said. “I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work on my part.

To prepare himself for the transition, Britton is taking part in a training camp in Arizona that helps pro prospects get ready for the NFL. The 2009 NFL Scouting Combine will take place Feb. 18-24.

Britton has received his share of attention prior to the draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay recently pegged Britton as the No. 7 overall player with a grade of 96 in the draft.

Following his playing days at Burroughs, Britton was able to make the successful transition to the college game, starring for the Wildcats.

Holding down the line, the Wildcats posted the second-best scoring mark in school history in the regular season, tallying 37.1 points per game.

A first-team All-Pacific 10 Conference honoree, Britton was named to the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, as well as the Outland Trophy Watch List.

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