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Mo Alie-Cox training for switch from basketball to NFL

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Virginia Commonwealth basketball player Mo Alie-Cox is the latest college hoops player looking to make a career in the NFL rather than the NBA. And of course, he'll try to do it as a tight end.

Alie-Cox (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) averaged 9.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game at VCU this year as a fifth-year senior. The power forward-turned-tight end has informed NFL clubs he will work out for scouts on April 11, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Some of the NFL's top tight ends came from a basketball background, including Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas and Antonio Gates.

A more recent example for Alie-Cox's path is Rico Gathers, who made the same transition a year ago. Gathers played basketball at Baylor, went through football training after the season and drew 24 NFL clubs for a pre-draft workout. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round and is developing on the club's practice squad.

Alie-Cox was encouraged to explore the possibility two years ago by Cowboys TE Jason Witten.

It's a long shot, of course, but it probably looked like a long shot at one time for the likes of Graham and Gates, too. If Alie-Cox can at least cling to an NFL roster in a developmental role like Gathers has, there's always hope.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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