Every once in a while, a two-sport athlete comes along at the collegiate level.
Some of the most prominent have been larger players, inside presences and tight ends like Tony Gonzalez at California, Antonio Gates at Kent State, and Jimmy Graham at Miami.
But there might be a different type of prospect coming in at Memphis, 2013 guard and Tiger football commit Sam Craft.
A piece in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal detailed his desire to be on scholarship for football at Memphis, but also walk on to Josh Pastner’s squad.
“It’s just being in love with the school,” Craft told the paper. “I grew up a Memphis fan. I always wanted to be here. The coaching staff welcomed me with open arms. I know they’re gonna change the program around, so I wanna be a part of it.”
Craft is headed to Memphis as a quarterback and, after winning a state title in basketball two seasons ago, wants to grow into a college point guard.
The 5-11 Craft runs a 4.45 40-yard dash and played for the Bluff City Legends AAU team, which made its way all the way to the Nike EYBL title game last year, before losing to Nerlens Noel’s BABC team.
“I talked to (Memphis basketball) coach (Josh) Pastner and he’s 100% OK with me playing both sports,” Craft said. “As soon as I’m done with football, I’ll play basketball.”
And some might be hoping for that storyline to emerge, a player coming from a school that has churned out guards like Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, to star in both sports.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_