Baylor's Rico Gathers to arrange private workouts for NFL teams

Baylor all-conference forward Rico Gathers is trying to become the latest basketball player to transition to the NFL, and already is drawing the attention of teams.

"Football has been in my heart," Gathers told ESPN on Friday.

Gathers plans to arrange a private workout for NFL teams on an off basketball day or after Baylor's basketball season ends. He had wanted to work out for NFL teams at Baylor's Pro Day on March 16, but he will be playing in a basketball tournament.

Still, Gathers seems determined to try to follow Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas and others to become the latest in a long line of college basketball players who have transitioned to tight end in the NFL.

"I feel like it's a natural fit for me," Gathers said.

Gathers last played football when he was 14 years old, but at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds would be an imposing and inviting target for teams. One NFL team said Thursday it is interested in helping Gathers -- whose father is the cousin of the late Hank Gathers -- transition to tight end and the league.

Gathers led the Big 12 in rebounding as a junior and has athletic ability that will intrigue NFL teams.

"During my free time, I work on my routes all the time," he said. "I have my own football, my own cleats, I run 40s all the time. I think I'm ready."