Ashley Lelie Goes Back to School

Former NFL wide receiver Ashley Lelie has returned to the University of Hawaii to complete his bachelor's degree, and will also work as a student manager for the football program, Stephen Tsai of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

In addition to receiving a tuition waiver, Lelie will get a chance to offer advice to the wide receivers in what the 30-year old considers a "dry run" to see if a coaching career appeals to the 2002 first-round pick of the Denver Broncos.

"It's time to move on," Lelie said. "It's time to get out of purgatory between not knowing what to do. It kind of feels good to have a game plan in my life."

Lelis tells Tsai that he doesn't regret how he felt about his infamous contract holdout of 2006, but regrets the way he went about it.

"I should have done it a different way," Lelie said. "There are ways I could have done it to make it look as if I wasn't as selfish. I could have still gone to camp and worked with the team...I do regret the way I went about it, but I don't regret feeling the way I felt, and acting on it.

"It was hard for a lot of coaches to get a gauge," Lelie said. "All they knew was I was the guy who held out. The first perception of me wasn't right. A lot of guys thought I was a bad guy, a negative type of person they didn't want on their team. The teams I went to (after Denver), like Atlanta, didn't get warmed up to me until it was too late."

Lelie caught 217 passes for 3,749 yards and 15 touchdowns during a seven-year NFL career with the Broncos (2002-05), Atlanta Falcons (2006), San Francisco 49ers (2007), and Oakland Raiders (2008). Lelie caught 5 passes for 95 yards for the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2009 pre-season, but was released and out of football for the first time in his professional career.

"There are a million other wideouts," Lelie said. "You get lost in the shuffle. I put it more on that than my ability. I didn't have too many injuries. I still feel fresh. I still feel I can run a low 4.3 (in the 40-yard dash), even today. But there are a lot of guys who can do that."

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