Ex-Bowling Green, Army QB Steelman draws interest from Ravens

Trent Steelman arrived by car at the Baltimore Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md., at about 3:30 a.m. May 3 for rookie minicamp.

He was scheduled for a physical at 7 a.m., and then he hit the field, trying to take the first step in his professional football career.

It's been that kind of fast-paced few weeks for Steelman, the former Army quarterback and Bowling Green High School graduate, as he's forged through the complicated process of NFL free agency and his military obligations.

"I got my chance, and that's all I really needed," Steelman said. "Once I got back in my element, it was something I've been dreaming about my whole life. It was awesome to be able to put on that Ravens uniform and represent the best organization in the National Football League."

Steelman made one thing clear — his first duty is to his country.

Barring some unexpected exception by the Army, he'll have to serve two years of active duty before being able to petition for a release from his remaining three years to pursue a pro career under the Alternative Service Option.

But he impressed the Ravens enough during the minicamp, which concluded Sunday, that the organization called Tuesday and wants to sign him to a contract.

It was widely reported shortly after the NFL Draft that Steelman had already agreed to a three-year contract, but that deal wasn't executed after it looked for a short time like he wouldn't be able to attend minicamp because of a paperwork issue.

As expected, there are plenty of hang-ups with the contract because of his military obligations, so it's hard to say when it'll be finalized, Steelman said.

"It could be a week, it could be a couple weeks, it could be longer," he said.

But when the contract is completed, Steelman will be able to attend the Ravens' organized team practice activity sessions — which start later this month — and the team's mandatory minicamp in June.

That could all lead to participation in Baltimore's preseason training camp in late July, with Army approval.

Steelman's agent, Dave Lee, confirmed the status of his negotiations Thursday.

Steelman called his brief taste of the NFL "intense."

The Ravens used the quarterback convert all over the field, including out wide and in the slot as a receiver. He also played on the majority of the special teams and took some repetitions as a kick returner.

Steelman said one coach told him he was a natural route-runner, which is unusual for a converted quarterback.