|Tarik Black appears to favor an NBA career over trying his hand on the gridiron.|
The trend of college basketball players turning into NFL tight ends is not lost on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Despite the team drafting fellow California product Richard Rodgers to play the position and signing former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla as a free agent, the Packers' signal-caller might not be done trying to add some weapons.
Kansas power forward Tarik Black got in contact with Rodgers in January when the NFL star came to a Jayhawks game and the two quickly struck up a friendship. According to Yahoo! Sports, Rodgers asked the 6-foot-9, 260-pound Black to come out and play tight end for the Packers, but the NBA Draft hopeful continues to rebuff the advances.
"I've been looking into it because when you're presented something like that, you can't just turn it down. It's a blessing. I've been takling to Aaron Rodgers a little bit," Black recently told Nuggets.com. "But I'm in Denver, not Green Bay. I want to be a basketball player. That's my passion. I'm not going to give up on it now."
Door closed, right?
Well, maybe. Black only averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds during his final season at Kansas and is a fringe candidate to be taken in the 2014 NBA Draft. The bruising power forward is known mostly for his defensive skills and probably has a number of options overseas or in the NBA Developmental League if he fails to make a team.
Based on what he is telling teams, it seems as though football is just a backup option. As for the remote possibility of playing both sports, though, that seems to be out of the question entirely.
"Even if basketball and football didn't run at the same time, think about the grind that's on the body," Black added. "I have a nice build but I don't think anybody -- unless you're Superman -- can withstand that. I don't think it's possible."
So it could be a year or two before we find out if Black can become the next Julius Thomas, Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates. At his size however, he would certainly be an intimidating option at tight end and an intruging enough prospect if he ever does find the time to put on some pads.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.