Baylor hoops star Rico Gathers intends to pursue NFL in 2016

With no college experience in football and without having gone through the NFL Scouting Combine, Baylor basketball standout Rico Gathers has made up his mind about the NFL.

He's coming, ready or not.

The power forward (6-foot-8, 275 pounds) had reportedly intended to play football for Baylor this fall in hopes of being drafted in 2017 as a tight end, but will instead pursue the NFL this year, a school spokesperson told CBS Sports. Gathers will finish his basketball eligibility with the Bears this spring and will miss Baylor's football pro day March 16 due to the basketball team's pending NCAA tournament bid, according to the report.

The All-Big 12 player is averaging 11.3 points and 9.1 rebounds this season for a 21-10 team tied for fifth place in the Big 12 standings.

NFL tight ends that came from college basketball backgrounds include Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham.

The evolution of the tight end position as more of a receiving role could help Gathers' transition. Moreover, receiving skills should come more easily to him than a more traditional blocking role.

But make no mistake -- all of it will be a challenge.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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