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Bills sign Richmond passer; Corp began his career as prize USC recruit

The Buffalo Bills signed a one-time elite major college quarterback recruit Sunday as an undrafted rookie free agent.

Aaron Corp, who started his college career at Southern California then played at Richmond the last two seasons, signed a three-year contract with the Bills. He picked Buffalo over four other teams, said his agent, Joe Linta.

Corp has good size -- at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds -- a decent arm and good straight-ahead speed. What he did not have was much good fortune after joining Southern Cal as a five-star recruit in 2007. Corp picked the Trojans over Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Nebraska and Oregon. After red-shirting for a season, Corp sat behind Mark Sanchez in 2008.

In 2009, he won the starting job for coach Pete Carroll in spring, then broke his left fibula in fall camp. That allowed top freshman recruit Matt Barkley to step in and take the starting job. Corp got to start two games that year due to an injury to Barkley but didn't do well, and Barkley returned to the starting lineup. Barkley has gone on to establish himself as one of the top QBs in college football and likely will be a top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Corp transferred to Richmond, the 2008 Football Championship Series national champion. He started five games in 2010 before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

He started all 11 games last fall, completing 63.7 percent of his passes. He passed for 244 yards a game and had 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Richmond won its first three games, then finished the season with eight straight losses.

Corp set an FCS single game completion percentage record by hitting 31 of 34 passes (91.2 percent) in a 31-28 loss to Towson.

Corp showed good athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.72 seconds, fifth best among quarterbacks at the scouting convention. He showed a good arm in his on-campus workout before the draft. NFL Draft Scout rated Corp 15th among quarterbacks in the draft. The National Football Post rated him ninth. There were 11 quarterbacks drafted.

Meanwhile, the Bills agreed to a deal with Florida State punter Shawn Powell, an All-America choice who led the nation with a 47.0-yard gross average in 2011.

Other undrafted rookies who reportedly agreed to join the Bills included: Stanford safety Delano Howell; Penn State safety Nick Sukay; Ian Wild, a linebacker from Division III Mercyhurst who projects as a strong safety in training camp; Colorado State tackle Paul Madsen; and Missouri State running back Chris Douglas.

Receiver Stevie Johnson, meanwhile, will wake up today in Philadelphia, where he's scheduled to have surgery on his groin. Johnson tweeted the news himself Sunday night.

His agent, C.J. Laboy, said in a text message to The News that it's "not a serious surgery" and has a "very brief" recovery time.

Nagged nearly all season by the injury, Johnson battled through to become the team's first-ever receiver to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He did not miss a game.

Jay Skurski contributed to this report.

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com