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Crossover: Which UK basketball greats could make it on the gridiron?

Ravi Moss: the last great crossover athlete

Football won its biggest game in a long, long time yesterday. And the NBA Cats have roared off to probably their best start in a… Well, probably ever.

So naturally, that leads to some thought about the intersection between football and basketball (Did you know that Willie Cauley-Stein played wide receiver in high school?). I took the time to compose a ‘dream team’ offensive (sorry, 22 is overkill) football roster of recent ex-basketball players who would make for a pretty darn good squad. Here’s what I got:

RB– Eric Bledsoe

Forget WCS at wideout (well, actually don’t forget that–I’m just saving it for later), Eric Bledsoe is a dang running back if I ever saw one. Yes, I’m aware that quarterbacks usually come at the top of depth charts, but Bledsoe just has so much POWER (and no, I’m not talking about the strange youtube review series he hosts about the Starz network show “Power”). He’s such an obvious candidate because:

A– The dude is jacked

B– He’s from Alabama

C– His (possibly retired) nickname is “Crank Dat Mustard.” Not exactly sure what that means, but I can easily see him cranking out pile-moving runs. Remember this pic?

QBBrandon Knight

This was a tough’n. The easy answer was Rajon Rondo, who once said that he could have played quarterback in the NFL. Not sure about that one, but his vision and passing precision is undeniable. Knight fits the bill, though. He’s got basically everything–from an ideal 6’3 frame, solid athleticism, 4.3 GPA in high school–but the piece de resistance is/was that smile:


Be still, my heart. There’s your quarterback, ladies (and gentlemen).

Also, vis a vis Rondo, you have to remember that the quarterback is the tone setter on most any team. It’s hard to argue that I’d rather have someone with Rondo’s track record than the Knight in shining armor.

Also, no one gets dunked on in football. And we’re running the option.

WR- Willie Cauley-Stein, John Wall, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

I don’t need to say anything about Willie. I know you know, and every announcer both sides of the Mississippi knows that I know you know.

Wall’s arguably the most explosive player in the NBA when his knees are steady (knock on wood). Just imagine him getting up for one-handed catches like he does for dunks, and being semi-ambidextrous certainly doesn’t hurt.

I had to put Michael Kidd-Gilchrist somewhere on the field, it was just a matter of where. He’s a competitor, flat out.

OLDemarcus Cousins, Chuck Hayes, Josh Harrellson, Tai Wynyard, Alex Poythress

Not since the great sideline behemoth John Gruenschlaeger have linemen been this huge, but think of it this way: Boogie has the footwork, Hayes has the leverage, Harrellson’s got the grit (see: OSU game), Wynyard has the lumberjack strength, and Poythress–as we all know–could be a bad man when he set his mind to it.

TE(pick one) Harrison Twins plus 40 pounds

These two are oddly huge guards, especially Aaron for the one, and they could put that to good use–along with quick feet and hands–to become pretty decent tight ends.

In our own way, we were all tight ends when Aaron took those shots in March:

Honorable mentions:

Receiver- Ravi Moss

Assistant coach- Julius Mays–doesn’t he look like one? 10 bucks says it happens

Cornerback- Deandre Liggins, Michael Porter

Long snapper- Brian Long

Free Safety- Tod Lanter

Defensive end- Terrence Jones

Linebacker- Ramon Harris


Article written by Austin Horn

Follow him on Twitter @Lilbighorn23KSR

9 Comments for Crossover: Which UK basketball greats could make it on the gridiron?

  1. kyking1
    1:36 pm October 30, 2016 Permalink

    Julius Randle and/or Bam Adebayo at Tight End would be unstoppable

    • onsides
      4:48 pm October 30, 2016 Permalink

      Further back, I’d add Mashburn too.

  2. CVL123
    1:47 pm October 30, 2016 Permalink

    Hello? ANYHONY EPPS!! He was great at football.

  3. BoogieDMC
    2:01 pm October 30, 2016 Permalink

    How about the guy who actually had football offers? Dominique Hawkins.

  4. Tony the Liger
    2:37 pm October 30, 2016 Permalink

    So Chuck Hayes was All-State in California at TE, but you’re not going to start him at TE? Okay.

  5. CatBlue in LR
    3:38 pm October 30, 2016 Permalink

    Kelenna Azubuike
    Dirk Minniefield
    Charles Hurt
    Derrick Hord
    Rick Robey
    James Lee
    Cotton Nash (he mastered everything else)
    Bob Burrow

    You just don’t go back far enough; too young. 🙁

  6. Kat in GA
    3:56 pm October 30, 2016 Permalink

    You guys left off Pat Riley. He was a HS All American quarterback, and had numerous offers. Again, too young.

    • go back to caneyville
      6:08 pm October 30, 2016 Permalink

      How about Boone Simpson, C Foster “Haymaker” Helm, George Zerfoss, Paul Adkins, or Arville “Cornbread” Hickerson? I think Catblue and Kat in Ga aren’t going back far enough, probably just young whipper snappers. Helm was a first team all state WR, Simpson had 47 passing touchdowns as a senior in hs, Zerfoss once outpulled a team of miniature mules at the state fair, boy could clear a hole bigger than 2 round bales. And Arville Cornbread Hickerson could slap the backboard on a layup in old Alumni gym. Top notch athletes most young folks will never hear of.

  7. fauxbobknight
    11:27 am October 31, 2016 Permalink

    Michael Porter at the QB position….