Clemson point guard will try out for NFL teams

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Over the past few weeks we’ve seen NFL teams begin to inquire about college basketball players who might find a fit playing professional football.

Penn State forward Ross Travis and Old Dominion forward Richard Ross have both had some NFL interest already while former Miami (OH) point guard Quinten Rollins transitioned to football at the school last season and is now flying up NFL draft boards. Kansas State senior forward Thomas Gipson also worked out for the Green Bay Packers earlier this month.

Now it appears Clemson senior point guard Rod Hall is getting some NFL interest of his own. According to a report from Mandrallius Robinson of Greenville Online, Hall is getting interest from 10 NFL teams who have contacted Clemson assistant coach Steve Smith. A workout for those teams has been scheduled for this week.

“If I get a chance, I think I definitely can do this,” Hall said to Robinson. “I just have to get back into that football groove.”

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hall didn’t play football in college, but he was All-State in football at Lucy C. Laney High School in Augusta, Georgia. Hall played wide receiver in high school and scored 13 touchdowns while totaling 1,200 receiving yards. Robinson reports that he’ll work out at wide receiver and defensive back for NFL teams.

It’s hard to say how Hall will look in workouts — and what NFL teams will think of him — but it’s a unique opportunity for him before he decides the next step in his professional life.

Former Gonzaga PG Demetri Goodson drafted by Green Bay Packers

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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.

And hearing his name called was undoubtedly a thrill for the cornerback, who noted that being drafted surpassed anything he accomplished on the basketball court while also noting that he had a better chance of realizing his professional dreams on the gridiron.

“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.

South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington enters NFL Draft, won’t return to basketball team

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For the last three years South Carolina guard Bruce Ellington has also been a member of the football team, and the fact of the matter is that he was pretty good for Steve Spurrier’s program. This season Ellington led the team in receptions (49), resulting in 775 yards and eight receiving touchdowns, and in three seasons his 16 touchdown receptions rank seventh on the school’s all-time list.

With his accomplishments on the football field and a college degree he completed last month, Ellington has decided to forego his final season of football eligibility to enter the 2014 NFL Draft. So what does any of this have to do with the basketball program? The news also means that he won’t be returning to the program as he did after each of the prior two football seasons.

“I would like to thank Coach Spurrier, Coach Horn and Coach Martin for giving me the opportunity to play both football and basketball at South Carolina,” Ellington said in the school release. “I also want to thank all the Gamecock fans and my teammates for the past four years in Columbia. It’s been a great experience and I’ve been truly blessed.”

In three-plus seasons as a basketball player Ellington averaged 11.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game for South Carolina. In three games this season, playing for Frank Martin’s team while the football team was off prior to beginning practices for its bowl game, Ellington averaged 5.7 points and 1.7 assists per game.

Given how young the Gamecocks are it would have been nice to add an experienced voice to the rotation in SEC play. But they’ve played nine of their 12 games without Ellington, and one can’t fault him for pursuing his dream with a college degree in hand.