football Edit

Hoops stars who could soar in football

MORE: Meyer's Mailbag | SDSU soars
Each week, Rivals.com recruiting analysts will break down the top 10 in a different category. Given that college football's National Signing Day and the Super Bowl fell within a few days of each other, we thought we'd take a different twist on this week's Top 10. In a nod to the pigskin, we take a look at basketball players who we could see making an impact on the football field. We've stayed away from known dual-sport guys or guys in the Rivals150 for 2011 or 2012 that we know are still playing football.
Top 10 stars who could cross over to football
1. Ricardo Gathers
School: Reserve (La.) Riverside Academy
The Buzz: A four-star hoops prospect in the class of 2012, we can't remember anybody who upon seeing him for the first time didn't ask if he plays football. A chiseled kid with good speed, excellent athleticism and meat hooks for hands, it's not tough to envision him as a big-time defensive end or tight end on the gridiron.
2. Marcus Smart
School: Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus
The Buzz: Few, if any, kids in high school basketball play a more physical and toughness-based brand of basketball than the four-star, 6-foot-4 wing from the class of 2012. If he decided to throw on some shoulder pads and a helmet, we could easily see him as a playmaking outside linebacker.
3. LeBryan Nash
School: Dallas (Texas) Lincoln
The Buzz: With his strong body, great hands and high-level athleticism, Nash would thrive as a pass-catching tight end and looks like a baby Tony Gonzalez. Luckily for Travis Ford and Oklahoma State, the 2011 five-star doesn't have any dreams of catching touchdowns.
4. Marquis Teague
School: Indianapolis (Ind.) Pike
The Buzz: When it comes to shiftiness, ability to change direction and then reach top speed in a hurry, Teague is virtually without peer in high school basketball. On the football field he's a pure athlete who could be a devastating kick returner and then play all over the field on the offensive side of the ball. Running back, wide receiver, spread offense quarterback - he could probably do it all.
5. Jamal Branch
School: Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep
The Buzz: The Texas A&M signee was actually known as a pretty good football player early on in his career before giving it up to focus on roundball. A versatile guy, he could probably play on either side of the ball. On offense, we could see him as a running quarterback. But because of his great hips, range and closing quickness, he projects nicely as a defensive back.
6. Jarnell Stokes
School: Memphis (Tenn.) Central
The Buzz: The five-star big man from the class of 2012 is an absolute horse in the post. He's broad-shouldered, tough and has excellent feet. All of those attributes combined with his giant hands and a near 6-foot-8 frame that could easily carry more weight make him an easy pick for the offensive line.
7. Sir'Dominic Pointer
School: Winston-Salem (N.C.) Quality Education Academy
The Buzz: Big receivers who can move are all the rage and for good reason. It's not a stretch to imagine Pointer could be pretty successful on the football field. He has excellent speed, great hands and would be a big physical target who can go and make catches in the middle of the field.
8. Myck Kabongo
School: Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep
The Buzz: It's not likely that the Texas-bound five-star point guard played much American football growing up in Canada, but he projects as a versatile guy. He's got great instincts on the defensive end, high-level top-end speed and we're willing to bet that he could cover quite a bit of range playing as a free safety.
9. Kyle Anderson
School: Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony
The Buzz: The five-star junior thinks the game of basketball as well as anybody in the country. He's also got exceptional court vision and sneaky athleticism that gets him out of tight spots at times. We've seen him throw more than enough overhand passes through tight windows to project him as a big and strong pro-style quarterback.
10. Chane Behanan
School: Bowling Green (Ky.)
The Buzz: Simply put, the Louisville signee from the class of 2011 is just big, strong, physical and mean. He's probably not a guy that you would spread out and run down seams, but he'd be nice to use as a run-blocking tight end who could double as a big-time threat as a pass catching threat on the goal line.