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UW-Milwaukee’s Demetrius Harris, future NFL star?

Apr 14, 2013, 11:37 AM EDT

Milwaukee Wisconsin Basketball AP

Demetrius Harris is looking to become the next undersized power forward that trades in his Jordans for football spikes.

As a senior with UW-Milwaukee, Harris averaged 9.1 points and 5.3 boards, hitting just over 44% of his free throws for a team that went 8-24 in the Horizon League. That’s not exactly a way to earn the eyes of NBA scouts, especially when you stand just over 6-foot-5 and weigh close to 240 lbs.

But that is the way to draw the attention of the NFL, especially when you were an all-state football player as a high schooler in Arkansas.

According to a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, more than a dozen NFL teams have taken interest in Harris, including the Kansas City Chiefs:

Chiefs area scout Ryan Kessenich, a Madison native and 2006 graduate of UWM, put Harris through his paces April 5 on campus at Engelmann Field, the Panthers’ soccer stadium, and the Klotsche Center.

According to the Chiefs, Harris ran 40 yards in 4.52 seconds to go with a vertical jump of 36½ inches and a broad jump of 10-2.

“Like I told all the (NFL) coaches, if you want him to shoot free throws, that’s not your man. But if you want him to catch a football, he can do that,” head coach Rob Jeter said. “I think he was a football player all along and we were trying to make him a basketball player.”

Undersized power forwards are the best tight ends prospects. Ask Jimmy Graham and Antonio Gates. Could Harris end up being the next member of that pipeline?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.