Players like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham have all had success as NFL tight ends after playing basketball in college and Baylor’s Rico Gathers would like to add his name to that list.
Gathers is wrapping up his basketball career at the Texas school, but told ESPN that he doesn’t plan on pursuing a professional career in the NBA. Instead, he’s hoping to set up a workout with NFL teams heading into the draft in hopes of returning to a sport that he last played as a 14-year-old.
“Football has been in my heart. … I feel like it’s a natural fit for me,” Gathers said. “During my free time, I work on my routes all the time,. I have my own football, my own cleats, I run 40s all the time. I think I’m ready.”
Gathers’ size, he’s 6’6″ and 275 pounds, and success on the basketball court — he was All Big-12 as a junior while leading the conference in rebounding — will likely be enough to get teams to take a look to see if there’s reason to work with Gathers on transitioning to the football field. Handicapping the chances of that is difficult, but there should be a bit more information to work with in the coming months.