College basketball players becoming productive NFL players is not a new trend of any kind, but pro football teams are always looking for talented athletes who could join their ranks. With the success of former college hoopers like Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates and Julius Thomas — to name some — pro football teams are looking more and more to college basketball players who could make the transition to football.
Last week, the Green Bay Packers had a workout with former Kansas State forward Thomas Gipson. The 6-foot-7 Gipson has never played organized football, but he intrigued the Packers enough during his senior season for the team to ask for a work out, according to Kellis Robinett of the Wichita Eagle.
Gipson got an unexpected call during spring break that the Packers wanted to get him on the field to work with one of their scouts. The 265-pound Gipson figured he would give football a shot.
After going through a work out with the Packers. Gipson posted some videos to his Twitter and also thanked the Packers for the opportunity on Instagram.
It’s been three years since Demetri Goodson played in a college basketball, with the 6-footer making the decision to transfer from Gonzaga to Baylor in 2011. Goodson played three years for Mark Few, posting averages of 5.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game during his time in Spokane.
His most memorable moment as a Bulldog: a length of the court drive to score the game-winning basket in the Bulldogs’ 83-81 win over Western Kentucky in the 2009 NCAA tournament.
Goodson played three seasons of football at Baylor (eight games his first two years due to injury), and as a redshirt senior he earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors (26 tackles, three interceptions). On Saturday Goodson learned where his professional football journey will begin, as he was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by Green Bay.
“I’d say this is a better feeling,” said the 6-foot, 200-pound Goodson, who transferred to Baylor in 2011 because he believed he had a better chance to play professional football than basketball.
“I started thinking about a 6-foot point guard compared to a 6-foot cornerback,” he said.
Goodson is one of three players with college basketball experience to be selected in this year’s NFL Draft. Tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, who played basketball at Washington during the 2012-13 season, was selected in the second round by Tampa Bay and former South Carolina point guard Bruce Ellington was picked in the fourth round by San Francisco.