VCU basketball standout Mo Alie-Cox eyes jump to NFL

Alie-Cox could follow in the footsteps of Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas and other tight ends who transitioned from hoops.

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.

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