NFL Courtship of Noel Underway

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Following North Carolina's 2006 men's basketball banquet on Tuesday, graduating senior David Noel told reporters he has been contacted by as many as five NFL football teams. However Noel, who originally accepted a football scholarship to UNC, said he still plans to give pro basketball a shot first.

"I've heard a lot from the NFL," Noel said. "I've heard so much from the NFL."

The Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, San Diego Chargers and a couple of NFL Europe teams have recently been in contact with Noel, who says they would like him to try out for their respective teams as either a wide receiver or a tight end.

"A lot of [NFL scouts] were at the NCAA Tournament asking me, ‘What about my football career?' I just told them I was going to put football on hold right now and see where this basketball thing leads me.

"But everybody is giving me their card and telling me to call them if I decide to go back to the gridiron."

Noel said he was "kind of/sort of" surprised by the attention he's gotten from NFL scouts, especially since he's been on record as saying he plans to try basketball first.

"But at the same time, those guys are persistent," Noel said. "And if they see a good product they want to go after it. But right now, I'm definitely thinking about basketball first."

"I will be surprised if [he plays in the NFL], because I think he's got a chance to play basketball for a long time," Roy Williams said.

J.B. Cissell contributed to this report.

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