That isn't a misprint.
Former Nittany Lion forward Ross Travis has declared for the National Football League Draft, Penn State basketball's program announced Tuesday evening.
If things work out, the 6-foot-7, 235 pound Minnesota native could join a special group of players in the NFL. Former and current NFL stars Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham all made the switch from college basketball to professional football with relative ease.
"After the season, somebody contacted me and asked if I wanted to get into a Pro Day workout," Travis said on Tuesday night. "He saw raw talent, the last time I played football was in ninth grade. I gave it some thought and I had always thought about playing football again and I decided it was definitely a cool opportunity that I had to take."
From here Travis will continue to work on his speed, power and adding muscle. Coming in at just under 6-foot-7, Travis weighs roughly 235 pounds, five pounds lighter than Penn State tight end Kyle Carter, but four inches taller.
As far as real interest? Travis wouldn't say which teams he has talked to so far in the early stages of the process, but noted that "quite a few" had contacted him to see what he had to offer.
For additional guidance Travis met with Penn State football coach James Franklin on a few occasions over the past several weeks. The two discussed Travis' options and even talked over the possibility of playing football at the collegiate level for a year, at Penn State or somewhere else.
Ultimately though Travis opted to take his shot now and avoid the year away from basketball. The thinking? If football doesn't pan out, a professional basketball career overseas could still be in the cards.
If nothing else, Travis is taking some confidence into his workouts knowing that some of the best tight ends in the game came from unconventional backgrounds. If not for them, Travis might not be even taking the leap.
“I don't know if I’d be in this situation if I was the first one to be doing this,” Travis said. “Seeing the success of these other guys who literally have identical stats as far as basketball goes. It almost made it a no-brainer for me to go give it a shot. Seeing them go through it it made it easy for me to go.”
"If the interest is there, the biggest thing for me right now is putting on weight and getting my head into the playbook and getting to know football terminology," Travis added. "This has always been something -- the last time I played was in ninth grade, but this has always been something that's been in the back of my mind."
Whatever happens, it's hard to blame anyone for answering the door when the NFL comes knocking.
"He was the guy that was always the hardest worker," Penn State basketball coach Patrick Chambers said Tuesday evening. "This doesn't surprise me at all, because Ross loves the weight room. He was always one of the hardest workers on the team and he's taken on this next step like he would any other thing in life."
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