May 3, 2012, 10:44 AM EST
Coming off a season in which he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds for St. Mary’s, Rob Jones made it clear that he won’t be trading the hardwood for the gridiron. He declined an offer from the Minnesota Vikings to attend the team’s rookie mini-camp.
“I wanted to see where I can go with basketball first,” said Jones, 23, told CSNBayArea. “Two or three years from now, if I’m not where I want to be with basketball, I can still have that option.
“Football is intriguing, but it’s really a decision I made five years ago.”
The 6-6, 237-pounds Jones certainly has the body to perhaps work his way into the NFL, but he says basketball remains his focus.
At Archbishop Riordan High in San Francisco in 2006, Jones caught 33 passes for 499 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jones reportedly considered playing both football and basketball in college at the University of San Diego. He met with then-coach Jim Harbaugh at San Diego, before Harbaugh moved on to Stanford.
There is a history of large-bodied basketball players taking a shot or succeeding in the NFL. Antonio Gates went from playing basketball at Kent State to being one of the NFL’s best tight ends. New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham played hoops at Miami.
“I played against Jimmy Graham my sophomore year; I’ve guarded him,” Jones said in the same interview. “It’s really cool that those guys had that opportunity to play football. It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind, too. But it’s really my third option.”
His football prospects were moved to the back burner after transferring to St. Mary’s, which does not have a football team.
This past season, Jones helped to lead the Gaels to the NCAA tournament, finishing with a record of 27-6 and losing to Purdue in the Round of 64.
- NBCSports.com Midseason All-American Team 0
- Kentucky still has one more major test to pass this season and it might not come against Louisville 0
- Tracking The Unbeatens: The showdown between Kentucky, Louisville looms 0
- New Year’s Resolutions: Ohio State Buckeyes 0
- Weekly Awards: Marquette’s new addition, a shakeup in Pac-12’s power structure ? 0
- College Basketball Talk’s Top 25: Virginia moves up, three teams drop out 1
- ACC suspends Louisville junior forward Montrezl Harrell one game 0
- Report: David Robinson’s son will be preferred walk-on at Duke in 2015-16 (VIDEO) (6)
- No. 1 Kentucky dismantles UCLA (6)
- West Virginia’s Bob Huggins torches Marshall after coach calls Huggs ‘afraid’ (5)
- Tracking The Unbeatens: There are now just nine teams without a loss (3)
- Lauren Hill’s playing career over, to become honorary coach (3)