YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — “That would be mind-boggling,” says former Youngstown State Men basketball player Naz Bohannon. “It would still be that same dream come true that every kid thinks about.”
Bohannon, a former all-league draft pick, is set for the draft but not the NBA draft, but the upcoming NFL draft as a tight end.
“Last year when the idea came up, I thought maybe God was trying to tell me something, maybe I should pursue it,” Bohannon says.
“It was the game plan that was presented to me, I believed in it and we are executing that game plan, so I have the best chance of delivering it.”
Bohannon played four seasons with the Penguins before heading to Clemson for his senior year. The idea of a college basketball player switching to professional football is not new.
Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez was one of the first, Kent State product Antonio Gates may soon join Gonzalez in the Hall. There are also several others, including one with whom Bohannon has been in close contact.
“I was lucky to be mentored by Marcus Pollard,” Bohannon says. “So it’s been great picking his brains out and telling me what it takes to play the position and also another bridge of confidence that it can be done if you put in the work.”
Bohannon attended Clemson’s Football Pro Day. Although he did not participate in the drills, teams got to see his 6-foot-6 long frame.
“Seeing all 32 teams and multiple team scouts. Head coaches like Mike Tomlin. They’re there to see these guys, but they also see you walking around and they see your stature, and I passed the test of the sight. It turned me on, it started a fire under me.
Bohannon played football at Lorain High School. He is currently training every day to try and post solid combination times for teams to have a baseline of what he can do before the draft. But Bohannon tells me he knows his dream doesn’t live or die by the project.
“There’s a bunch of guys who have written their own story,” Bohannon says. “So there’s a plan in action, that if I don’t have the film they don’t know the numbers, they didn’t call that day but here’s the itinerary. Here’s a minicamp for the recruits the next week. Let’s go through this trial, let’s get the numbers. If you sign a contract, again, you’re writing your own story, you’re leaving your own legacy.