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Former Clemson basketball player declares for the NFL Draft

Caleb Browder, Photo Editor

Clemson forward Naz Bohannon (33) looks up the court against Presbyterian on Nov. 9, 2021.

Former Clemson basketball forward Naz Bohannon has declared for the NFL Draft, his agency Shark Sports Management announced on Instagram on April 4. 

The 6-foot-six, 234 pounder finished last season with 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in 33 games with the Tigers. Now, he will transition to football.  

“For me, the decision was based on a couple of things,” said Bohannon in an interview with The Tiger. “The first being that it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in one of the biggest organizations in the world. Coupled with that was not wanting to have regret… I didn’t want to sit in my bed one day at 50 and say, ‘Oh, what if?'” 

Before the announcement, he was at Clemson football’s pro day and took measurables for the teams in attendance. He also spoke with several NFL personnel, according to Shark Sports Management.  

Before committing to Youngstown State to play basketball, from which he transferred to Clemson, Bohannon held over 10 Division 1 football offers, including Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kentucky and Iowa State. Ohio State also expressed interest in him. 

While the former Tiger has shown the ability to play basketball at a high level, he believes his frame and physicality will benefit him in football.  

“My frame can hold a lot more weight than what I’m used to,” said Bohannon. “And, obviously, [my frame] makes me a big target at tight end for a quarterback to pass the ball to, but it also gives me the ability to be able to block those big defensive ends on plays… And that can be a separator when you’re talking about lasting long in the NFL.” 

Although it is uncommon for an athlete to go from college basketball to the NFL, the move has precedent. Several top-tier tight ends have completed the transition, like Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas and Jimmy Graham. The most recent player to complete the feat was Mo Alie-Cox, a former VCU power-forward entering his fifth season as a tight end for the Indianapolis Colts.  

With the transition, Bohannon thinks he can use the athleticism gained from his time in college to his advantage.  

“I think the agility and obviously the endurance,” said Bohannon about skills that translate from basketball to football. “That piece is huge because you’re used to going up and down [in basketball]. In football, you get a break after every down… So I just think, all the lateral movements and the agility. The things that basketball teaches, they go hand and hand with football.” 

Bohannon’s one message for teams that could be interested in him is: “why not me?”  

“I think if somebody takes a shot on me, they’re going to get somebody with an incredible work ethic that will do anything for the organization and the program,” said Bohannon. “Whether it is making somebody better through practice or getting somebody good looks, or it’s going into the game and scoring a touchdown, I’m willing to do whatever.” 

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