The next player to make the hardwood-to-gridiron crossover in the NFL might be playing for the Baylor basketball team.
At least one NFL team thinks it's worth a stop at the school's campus for an evaluation.
Who were the Bills there to see? Chances are they took a good look at 6-foot-8, 275-pound Baylor forward Rico Gathers, who's a senior. He was among the college basketball players with NFL potential that CFB 24/7 identified in March.
Gathers hasn't played football since middle school, but given size, physicality and relentlessness on the court, it's easy to see why an NFL team would be intrigued by him.
"Tight end, defensive end ... just look at (Gathers)," a scout told Bleacher Report last year. "He belongs on a football field."
Gathers, Baylor's all-time leader in rebounds, reportedly didn't always take kindly to suggestions that he might be better off pursuing football. His feelings on the topic have changed, though. In fact, he's been training for football this basketball season.
"I know my capabilities on the football field," Gathers told ESPN last month. "I'm working on routes and stuff right now. I keep a pair of cleats."
Clubs are always keeping an eye out for the next Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates, two ex-hoops players that became All-Pro tight ends, and it sounds like Gathers has envisioned himself making the same transition.
"Always had these hands," Gathers said. "These things, everything, all the rebounds and stuff. I just look at it like I'm on the football field snagging passes. Just go get it."
He'll have to answer for an off-field incident whether he's sitting down with NBA or NFL teams this year. Gathers was arrested on a theft charge in June , and ESPN details the steps he's taken since then to get back on the right track.
On Monday night, Gathers fouled out late in Baylor's 67-59 loss to Texas, but put on a pretty good show before exiting, scoring 20 points in his 28 minutes of play.