Ten college athletes that could be great football players


One of the big stories out of the Indianapolis Colts' recent rookie minicamp was the performance of undrafted tight end Erik Swoope. A former basketball player with the Miami Hurricanes, the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder is still facing an uphill battle to make the team's roster, but the natural ability he showed at his new position earned him the attention of coaches.

We've seen several former college hoops players have successful NFL careers recently -- Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham spring to mind -- and Swoope's success led College Football 24/7 to think about some of the top college athletes in other sports around the country that could also find some success on the gridiron.

Here's a list of 10 current NCAA athletes (listed in alphabetical order) that college football coaches at their respective schools might want to chat with if they have a depth-chart hole to fill:

Trayvon Bromell, Baylor

Sport:Track (sprints)
The skinny:The Bears have no shortage of fast receivers to plug into head coach Art Briles' offense, but Bromell could certainly intrigue as a field-stretcher. He's 5-foot-8, 160-pounds but dabbled at receiver in high school and could fill such a role in the slot at the college level. He was the first prep sprinter to crack the 10-second barrier in the 100-meter dash and is a favorite at the upcoming NCAA championships in the same event.

Michael Conforto, Oregon State

Sport:Baseball (outfielder)
The skinny:His father played linebacker at Penn State and the younger Conforto has a similar, albeit smaller, build at 6-foot-2, 217 pounds. He's not the fastest outfielder in the college ranks, but could end up going in the top 10 of the 2014 MLB Draft thanks to his power. He has a knack for getting a timely big hit and leading his team, so seeing him bulk up and try out as a linebacker would be interesting.

J'den Cox, Missouri

The skinny:Cox recently captured an NCAA wrestling national championship and he could probably find some success on the Tigers' football team, too, if he wanted to become a dual-sport star. He was an All-State linebacker in Missouri in high school and could probably crack the rotation at the spot on the football team. At the very least, he could make for a stud special-teams player.

Ryan Crouser, Texas

Sport:Track and Field (shot put)
The skinny:An NCAA champion at Texas in the shot put, Crouser comes from a very athletic family. He's already 6-foot-7 and certainly has the kick-step needed to play right tackle if he wants to add some weight. Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong has a defensive background, and perhaps he could turn Crouser into a very tall defensive lineman, given Crouser's strength and arm length.

Branden Dawson, Michigan State

The skinny:One of the more athletic players in the Big Ten heading into next season, Dawson has great size at 6-foot-6, 255 pounds and is a terrific rebounder. His jump shot needs a lot of work, but he's tenacious on the boards and could end up as another forward-turned-tight end if things don't work out with his basketball career.

Chris Hipps, Duke/SMU

The skinny:Hipps lands on this list in part because he actually is trying his hand at the sport -- he's transferring from Duke to SMU to play football this fall. Before he was a star on the Blue Devils' national championship lacrosse team, he was a standout on the football field at Highland Park (Texas) High where he hauled in 18 touchdowns as a senior receiver. The 6-foot-4 Hipps could end up making an impact with the Mustangs in head coach June Jones' offense this season.

Brandon Mullins, Syracuse

The skinny:It's probably safe to say that head football coach Scott Shafer has already asked Mullins to come play football once or twice. A standout linebacker in high school, he was the Texas 5A Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. That's no small accomplishment considering how many good players the Lone Star State produces on that side of the ball.

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Leo Stolz, UCLA

The skinny:Had Andre Blake, the No. 1 pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, returned to UConn, he would have taken Stolz's spot on this list. The German product is one of the top college players in the country for the Bruins and has a pretty good leg for a midfielder.

Carlos Rodon, N.C. State

Sport:Baseball (pitcher)
The skinny: One of the best pitchers in the country and a likely top-10 pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, Rodon has the arm strength and size to play quarterback. He recently said he has a better arm than former Wolfpack two-sport star Russell Wilson, so why not show it off on the field?

Briante Weber, VCU

The skinny:With NFL teams seeking bigger cornerbacks, perhaps a club or two will keep an eye on Weber. He's 6-foot-2 and is one of the best in the country at stealing the basketball thanks to his quickness and wingspan. He recorded an insane 45-inch vertical jump, so at the very least he could be an NFL Scouting Combine All-Star.

*Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter **@BryanDFischer.*

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