If you're looking for the next Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas or Jimmy Graham — star tight ends who were better known for basketball before arriving in the NFL — you might want to keep an eye out for Mo Alie-Cox.
The VCU forward has long been mentioned as a potential future NFL player, and NFL Media reported Friday he will work out for scouts on April 11.
An athletic 6-foot-7, 250 pounds, Alie-Cox has the physical attributes NFL scouts covet, and he's no secret to that community. Football evaluators have made VCU a regular stop the last couple of years despite the Rams' lack of a football program.
“He’s a freak of nature,” then-VCU coach Will Wade said earlier this month, via the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “That’s why he’s going to play in the NFL or wherever he wants to play.”
Alie-Cox acknowledged at the time that there would be a "big learning curve" in attempting to play football full-time and he was still pondering giving professional basketball a shot. But he has a long history on the gridiron, and likely more upside there than as an undersized forward in the NBA.
“I played football for nine years growing up,” Alie-Cox told Sporting News last spring. “I think I’ve still played football, the amount of years, longer than I played basketball. So growing up, that was something I always wanted to do. But I transferred to private school, we had like 200 kids, we didn’t have a football team. So I just had to focus on basketball, and basketball is what brought me here.”
Alie-Cox made an impact on the court at VCU for four years, earning three Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team nods, but it certainly appears his future is in football.