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Fry now looks to Arena League

ATLANTA — First, Roman Fry’s career was sidelined. Now it has been sacked.

A knee injury during his senior year at Clemson ended a projected second or third round selection in the 2007 NFL draft.

Surgery and an intense rehabilitation program returned Fry to his playing form. To prepare for a chance at the NFL, Fry began looking for a playing venue and found it in the newly formed All American Football League.

Team Alabama drafted Fry in the third round of the supplemental draft, but Fry’s contract is now in limbo after the new league postponed the upcoming season.

“I’m back to square one,” said a dejected Fry.

The All American Football League announced Thursday it was suspending all operations until 2009. The league said it would continue to build upon the foundation that has been established and to discuss opportunities with potential investors.

The key stumbling block is a television contract that will attract investors.

Other teams in the league included Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, and Texas. The league was to replace the now defunct NFL Europe.

Despite another setback, Fry plans to move forward. He will visit the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League on Tuesday.

“I need to get back to playing ball somewhere. I’m ready to give it a whirl. I’m getting ready to do some pass blocking,” said Fry.

“It ain’t done yet. I’m still looking to play.”

Although Fry admits he doesn’t know very much about the arena league except that it is predominantly a passing game, he is taking a positive approach.

“It looks like it’s all right, but I don’t know anything about it. I wouldn’t mind playing a little defensive line, too,” said Fry who was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference and preseason All-American guard.

If the former Ironton All-Ohio lineman has questions about the Arena Football League, teams shouldn’t have any reservations about his health.

“I haven’t missed a day of training. I’m in great shape. I’m in better shape than I have been in a long time,” said the 6-foot-4, 295-pound Fry.

If Fry signs with the Crush — owned by NFL Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway — he will join former Ironton defensive back Jason Harmon.