NILES, Ohio — Quarterback Bernie Kosar, whose strong arm led the University of Miami to the 1983 national championship, said Thursday that he would cut short his college career to play with the National Football League.
Kosar said he would need six credit hours this summer to graduate and could complete his current studies by the end of June, in time for NFL summer training camps.
He said he would make himself available for the league's April 30 draft and that he would like to play for the Cleveland Browns in his native Ohio. "I followed the Browns my whole life," Kosar said at a news conference. "That would be the ideal situation."
The Browns would have to improve their draft position to get Kosar, and sources said the team had made a trade offer in an attempt to do so. They now have the seventh selection.
The Buffalo Bills, with the first pick in this year's draft, already have signed defensive lineman Bruce Smith of Virginia Tech as their No. 1 choice. The Houston Oilers have the second pick.
In Phoenix, where the NFL's team executives are meeting this week, sources said the Browns had made an offer to acquire Houston's first-round pick.
Kosar was red-shirted his first year at Miami and was technically a freshman when he led the Hurricanes to the national championship, beating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl game.
In his two seasons at Miami, the 6-5, 210-pound quarterback set 22 school records and led the Hurricanes to a 19-6 record. He had two years of eligibility left.
Kosar, whose family lives in Boardman, Ohio, said he had no agent but believed he was worth as much as Doug Flutie, the Heisman Trophy winner out of Boston College. Flutie signed a five-year deal worth about $7 million with the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League.
"From what I hear from a lot of people, that's about what I've heard I should be making," Kosar said. "But I think that'll be an individual thing with the club."