Running back Joe Dudek, college football's most prolific scorer but not selected in the April 29 NFL draft, has reached agreement in principle with the Denver Broncos and is expected to sign a contract today.

Dudek, of Plymouth State (N.H.) in NCAA Division III, was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated last fall and touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate by the magazine. He came in ninth in the balloting.

He chose the Broncos' free-agent NFL contract over offers by the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears and rejected the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits, who drafted him in the fourth round.

"Since the draft, I've been talking to about six teams," Dudek said from his home in Quincy, Mass. "It was good to be drafted by the USFL, but they the Bandits just didn't seem to take their draft too seriously. The offers they were making weren't too outstanding."

Dudek broke Walter Payton's NCAA career touchdown record. He totaled 79 touchdowns and 5,570 rushing yards (No. 3 on the NCAA's all-division career list) and averaged a record 7.1 yards per carry.

"When a guy is that productive, you've got to take notice," said Broncos running back coach Nick Nicolau.