After failing to land an NBA contract, Baylor’s Mark Vital Jr. is trying his luck in the NFL. Vital, who played four years of college basketball as a power forward, landed a practice deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks announced the move on Thursday, revealing that Vital will line up at the tight end position.
Despite not playing football since middle school, Vital is confident that he can make his mark in the NFL.
“I feel like I can be a Hall of Famer,” said Vital in a chat with KPLC. “I’m already getting compared to Antonio Gates from different scouts and teams when hearing them talk about me.”
Los Angeles Chargers legend Antonio Gates spent his college career as a basketball player just like Vital. Gates signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chargers in 2003 and became one of the best tight ends the NFL has seen. During his time as a football player, he earned eight Pro Bowl nods, five All-Pro selections, and was part of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.
While at Baylor, Mark Vital averaged 5.6 points and 6.7 rebounds and helped the program win the NCAA title in 2021. After going undrafted in the NBA Draft, he spent the Summer League with the Portland Trail Blazers but failed to impress. With no teams interested in offering him a contract, Vital ultimately figured he might have more luck in football and switched sports.