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Published: March 16, 2014 at 06:18 p.m.
Updated: March 16, 2014 at 09:13 p.m.

College basketball stars in the NFL

As college basketball's playoff tournament commences, take a trip down memory lane in this list of former college hoopsters who parlayed their basketball skills into a career in the NFL.

11 Photos Total

  • Jimmy Graham: Miami 11

    Steve Cannon/Associated Press

    Jimmy Graham: Miami

    Before he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2010, TE Jimmy Graham had only played one season of football at Miami, but spent four years on the basketball team and went to the NCAA Tournament in 2008 and 2009.

  • Donovan McNabb: Syracuse 10

    George Widman/Associated Press

    Donovan McNabb: Syracuse

    Quarterback Donovan McNabb played two seasons as a reserve guard at Syracuse.

  • Antwaan Randle El: Indiana 9

    Tom Strattman/Associated Press

    Antwaan Randle El: Indiana

    A former WR for the Steelers and Redskins, Antwaan Randle El played one season for the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team.

  • Connor Barwin: Cincinnati 8

    Steve Nesius/Associated Press

    Connor Barwin: Cincinnati

    Philadelphia Eagles DE Connor Barwin played for the Cincinnati Bearcats from 2005-2007.

  • Terrell Owens: Tennessee-Chattanooga 7

    Tim Roske/Associated Press

    Terrell Owens: Tennessee-Chattanooga

    Wide receiver Terrell Owens played basketball at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and also had a brief career in the United States Basketball League with the Adirondack Wildcats in 2002.

  • Tony Gonzalez: California 6

    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Tony Gonzalez: California

    Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez averaged 6.8 points per game with the California Golden Bears and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the 1997 NCAA Tournament.

  • Julius Peppers: North Carolina 5

    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    Julius Peppers: North Carolina

    Before he was drafted second overall by the Carolina Panthers, DE Julius Peppers averaged 7.1 points per game for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

  • Antonio Gates: Kent State 4

    Ed Reinke/Associated Press

    Antonio Gates: Kent State

    San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was a standout forward at Kent State, where he led his team to the Elite Eight in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.

  • Vincent Jackson, Northern Colorado 3

    Chris Donahue/Associated Press

    Vincent Jackson, Northern Colorado

    Vincent Jackson is now known as a high-flying wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he also utilized his vertical leap as a forward at Northern Colorado, earning Division I All-Independent second-team honors in 2004.

  • Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M 2

    Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

    Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M

    Before Martellus Bennett was a threat down the middle as a tight end for the Chicago Bears, he was a force in the middle as a backup post player for two seasons at Texas A&M.

  • Julius Thomas, Portland State 1

    Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

    Julius Thomas, Portland State

    For four seasons, Julius Thomas roamed the hardwood for Portland State, leading the Vikings to their first two NCAA Tournament berths in school history in 2008 and 2009. The current Denver Broncos tight end also concluded his basketball career as the program's all-time leader in field goal percentage (.663).

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