Today is national signing day for football. Every year there are kids who choose basketball that would also be making some huge news had they gone the football route. Here is a look at some of the best potential football players in this class.
This one might be cheating, but Jae'sean Tate is one to watch. It is cheating because Tate had an actual football career during high school with Big Ten offers. Instead of going that route Tate chose a scholarship at Ohio State for hoops.
On the football field Tate would fit in either as an outside linebacker, defensive end, or tight end. He is about 6-foot-5 (on a very good day) and 225 pounds as it is, and in a college weight program would get to 250 without breaking a sweat. Add in his great straight line speed, toughness, and strength, and Tate is the ideal type player in football, and someone who would have the potential to play on Sundays.
Maybe the most exciting kid who could play football has possibly never held a football in his life. Lourawls Nairn, better known as Tum-Tum, is signed with Michigan State to play point guard, but on a football field he would be absolutely dynamic. Nairn is about 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds and is an absolute jet.
Nairn has the potential to be a lockdown cornerback, a slot receiver on offense in a spread system, or a dynamic punt and kick returner. Basically if he had space and the ball in his hands, Nairn would be a problem. He combines elite, elite speed with strength and quickness.
Two other big, strong athletes who could possibly play outside linebacker or tight end would be Arizona bound small forward Stanley Johnson and Oklahoma bound power forward Dante Buford.
Johnson is an absolute beast at near 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds. He also has the elite toughness and desire to attack that would translate perfectly to the football field. He isn’t a super explosive leaper, but he is plenty athletic, especially for a person with his size and strength.
Buford is a scary athlete. In the redzone he might be absolutely impossible to stop at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds with elite leaping ability. Length, quickness, and explosion all define Buford. A kid who doesn’t have a refined basketball skillset, Buford just makes plays with toughness and athleticism on the court. In football that would translate perfectly, and he is the type of athlete that NFL executives dream about.
One player in the class who could be an excellent wide receiver is Namon Wright. Wright has long arms, is a super explosive leaper, and has great straight line speed. At 6-foot-5 and around 185 pounds, Wright would be a major vertical threat on a football field, and assuming he can catch a football would be a nightmare for corner backs one on one.
While all of these guys would translate very well to football, none can match current Baylor power forward Rico Gathers. There is no doubt that the 6-foot-5 and 265 pound Gathers would be a potential top pick in the NFL if he ever decided football was for him.