The Tennessee Titans will give a shot to a player who spent the past four years knocking down shots.
Hasahn French, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward who played college basketball at St. Louis University, will take part in this week’s mandatory minicamp on a tryout basis.
French will be a tight end with the Titans and is the second player signed this month with no recent football experience. Adam Coon, an All-American wrestler at Michigan, signed last week as a tackle after a failed bid to make the U.S. Olympic team.
The NFL has seen some notable players successfully switch from college basketball to professional football, particularly at tight end.
Most notably, Antonio Gates was an eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro in 16 seasons with the Chargers. Other who starred in college basketball then successfully switched to football include Darren Fells and Mo Allie Cox.
Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez was a two-sport star (football and basketball) at Cal. Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas each played one year of college football before they jumped to the NFL and enjoyed lengthy careers as tight ends.
Back in 1999, the Titans signed undrafted tight end Larry Brown, who was a two-sport star at Georgia. He averaged 13.5 yards on 80 career receptions in football and 4.5 points and 3.1 rebounds as a reserve on the basketball team.
Brown played seven games that season plus four in the playoffs, primarily on special teams, and did not catch a pass. He also was inactive for five games, dressed for two but did not play and spent two weeks on the practice squad.
Tennessee cut him the next season, and he did not play in the NFL again.