PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Kicker Luis Zendejas of Arizona State, the highest scorer in the history of NCAA Division I football, Thursday signed a 1-year contract with the the Arizona Outlaws of the U.S. Football League.
Zendejas said he has an option for a 1-year contract renewal at a salary that could discourage the Outlaws from keeping him.
That could open an NFL opportunity for Zendejas next fall if he does well in the USFL's spring-summer league games. The USFL does not go to a fall season until 1986.
Zendejas said if the Outlaws choose to pick up the 1-year option after the season he would make 'three to four times' his first -year salary. He did not disclose that salary but said reports of $55,000 are 'way off.'
'The option is there but the amount is mine,' Zendejas said at a news conference. 'We put so much down they won't follow it up. If they do so, it'll be good for me.
'I see this as a long tryout,' he said. 'This might determine whether my situation is good or bad (as a potential NFL player).'
Zendejas broke the NCAA record for most points in a career last season, finishing with 368 during his four-year career. He holds nearly all the Sun Devil kicking records, as well as a handful of NCAA marks.
'We are both pleased and excited that Luis Zendejas will be wearing an Outlaws' uniform in 1985,' said Bill Tatham Jr., club president and general manager.
'We have said from the start that we'll be doing things the 'Arizona way' with Arizona people. Luis certainly fits into that category and he's as excited as we are to be able to remain here in the Valley playing professional football.'
Coach Frank Kush agreed.
'Luis had a brilliant career at Arizona State and I'm looking forward to having him aboard,' said Kush, a coaching legend at Arizona State until he was fired in 1979. 'He has a strong leg and we're looking forward to the contributions he will make this season.'
In 1983, when he scored 112 points, Zendejas was named first-team All-Pacific-10 Conference. In 1984, he slumped early in the season but went on to win second-team All-Pac-10 honors.
His cousin, Tony Zedejas, licks for the Los Angeles Express of the USFL. His older brother, Joaquin, briefly kicked for the NFL's New England Patriots in 1983.