Unknown "hometown" QB makes splash

Everybody's talking QBs -- Palmer, Leftwich, Boller, Grossman and more. Another QB wants to hear his name on that list, and said worked hard enough at the combine to get people talking.<P>

If you haven't heard of Tony Romo, you aren't alone. A virtual unknown out of Eastern Illinois, the Burlington, Wis. native entered last week's combine hoping to change that.

"I'm feeling really good, really confident," Romo said. "I feel like I can suprise some teams."

Romo first got himself noticed by volunteering to throw in drills for other position players. That's something that the marquee names wouldn't dream of doing. But Romo said he'd do what it takes to make a splash.

"It's been fun and exciting and I've been getting some looks. I went to a small school, and that goes to show you that you can do anything you strive for," Romo said.

Romo, 6-2, 220, was a three-year starter who also spent time with the first team as a red shirt freshman, setting a bevy of college and school marks. 2002 All-American, All-Conference, and Walter Payton Award winner, given to the Most Valuable Player in I-AA football. He completed 65.3% of his throws for 2,950 yards, with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in ten games as a senior. OVC Offensive Player of the Year in both 2000 and '01.

The QB said that "15-20" teams have talked with him and expressed interest, including the Packers.

"Yeah, the Packers are one of them," Romo told reporters. "They've done a good job of letting me know they are interested and coming up and talking to me."

Going to Green Bay in the middle rounds of April's NFL draft for Romo, who counts his trip to Champaign, Ill. to watch the Packers pummel the Bears on Monday Night Football as one of his best football experiences.

"Brett Favre is definitely my favorite player in the NFL. I grew up watching him," Romo said. "To learn under him would be tremendous."

Does Romo have his sites set too high? The positivies include leaderships skills, and a smart, efficient style. He developed patience in the pocket and a quick release, plus the ability to sell the play action pass, senses pressure and avoid the rush.

The consensus is that Romo does possess the skills to play at the next level, butAnalysis: Dominated at a lower level of competition but perhaps is the type of signal caller who would benefit from a season in NFL Europe.

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