It’s been ten years since the San Diego Chargers pulled off one of the greatest steals in NFL history, plucking Antonio Gates from the college basketball ranks and turning him into one of the most dynamic tight ends in the league.
While there have been several futile attempts to recreate the magic in recent years, no other NFL team has found the same type of immediate impact from a former college hoops star that the Chargers got from Gates. That, however, could change this season for the Baltimore Ravens and Murphy Holloway.
A power forward at Ole Miss, Holloway carried the Rebels to an NCAA Tournament appearance this past season while averaging 14.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. With a potential career in the NBA falling through, Holloway turned his attention to the gridiron after receiving interest from NFL scouts.
Despite their interest, Holloway went undrafted during the recent 2013 NFL Draft. It didn’t take long for Ole Miss’ all-time leader in rebounds to land his first NFL contract, though.
According to reports, several teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, had contacted Holloway about signing as an undrafted free agent. The Ravens, however, offered him the best plan at making a career in the NFL, which landed him in Baltimore.
“I just thought it was a good setup,” Holloway said. “I’ll play behind some veteran guys that can show me the ropes, and there won’t be no jealousy. They know I’m not going in there to take their job.”
With no third tight end entrenched behind starters Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, Holloway has an opportunity to win the No. 3 spot during training camp or even a practice squad invite. The only problem is that the former Rebel hasn’t played organized football in over seven years, a setback that could prove too debilitating to overcome.
Soon enough, we’ll see what the future holds for Holloway and his NFL aspirations. Have the Ravens found the next Gates or will it be another failed attempt at finding a diamond in the rough?