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Typical Drew

Drew Ott sat down at a table today in Indianapolis, surrounded by a handful of reporters at the NFL Combine who were curious about what it felt like to be Drew. As a Big Ten eligibility committee continues to research the merits of the Iowa defensive end's request for an additional year of eligibility after an injury-filled senior season that kept him off the field for eight of the Hawkeyes' 14 games, limited him in others and ultimately led to both Tommy John and ACL surgeries, Ott's future remains in limbo. If possible, he wants one final year with the Hawkeyes. If not, he's laying the groundwork to move forward and he's doing so on his own. Ott is maneuvering his way through the NFL pre-draft thicket this week in Indianapolis on his own. He was given permission by the NCAA to attend, but cannot hire an agent because of his desire to return to the college game. He took a spot in the interview room with other combine participants and admitted that the process has taken a little longer than he thought it might initially, but conceded to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "I'm doing OK.'' Typical Drew. He's rolling with the flow, just as he always has. The paperwork for Ott's request was filed before Iowa packed its bags for Pasadena. The Big Ten eligibility subcommittee that reviews those requests held its first meeting since that time earlier this week. It did not announce a decision, which is not all that uncommon and sometimes is reflective of a desire to collect more information. Ott indicated in Indianapolis he believes he will know something within the next couple of weeks. If the Big Ten rejects his request, he can appeal the decision to the NCAA and coach Kirk Ferentz has indicated that an appeal is likely if needed. Ott said he understands that the people on the eligibility are making sure the request is what it is and doesn't fault them for being thorough in their work. While some people would be up in arms about the length of time this all has taken, Ott isn't whining or carping about it. He told reporters he's ready to deal with whatever comes his way when the group ultimately makes its call. "I've been dealing with it for a couple months now,'' he said. "I'm not too worked up about it. I'll be fine either way.'' Truer words may have never been spoken. Ott said that former Hawkeye Aaron Kampman, who now lives near Solon after concluding his own NFL career, has been helpful in providing guidance. In the meantime, Ott continues to work on rehabbing his body from the late-October surgeries. Spring football at Iowa begins on March 23. The NFL Draft runs from April 28-30. Ott figures he'll know where his future well before then and if history tells us anything - remember that Ott played five days after being tossed off his scooter following a collision with a vehicle - he'll be ready to cope with whatever comes his way. That, too, is typical Drew.

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