You know him. You used to love him. And maybe you'll one day root for him...if Rick Barnes has convinced him he has a place on the Texas basketball team.
Ricky Seals-Jones, the erstwhile Texas football commitment, stopped by the Forty today to talk to the Texas basketball staff about playing two sports in college. Seals-Jones visited Texas A&M earlier in the week, and will make a trek down to LSU at some point. According to sources, Seals-Jones was accompanied by his father as well as his basketball AAU coach, Eric Thomas. Seals-Jones plays for the RYTES Warriors, which draws kids from greater Houston and rural Central Texas.
Hey, good news bears!
I'm hearing the unofficial visit by Ricky Seals-Jones to #Texas today went well. #Hookem #Longhorns— Jeff Howe (@JeffHowe247) June 14, 2012
A factor easily dismissed when Seals-Jones first decommitted, his passion for basketball appears to be kind of a big deal. In fact, his recruitment may hinge on it, as Seals-Jones seems to be specifically getting guarantees from the schools that he will have an opportunity to play basketball.
He's no slouch on the hardwood, either. This past season for Sealy, he averaged 32 points and 15 rebounds (according to Maxpreps), though obviously, rural central Texas hoops is by no means filled with Rucker Park top-tier talent. Blessed to be one of the biggest and most athletic guys on the gridiron, Seals-Jones doesn't have that otherworldly basketball frame that a guy like Derrick Griffin possesses. As a basketball player, Seals-Jones is not ranked by ESPN or Rivals, and doesn't even have a Scout profile.
But both Texas A&M and LSU appear willing to give Seals-Jones an opportunity to suit up for the basketball team--of course, what do they have to lose? And it appears that Texas' Rick Barnes has his ears open as well, in what basically amounts to a no-lose situation for him. Gain another warm body on the wing that has some skill, just in time for conference play? Sure, why not! Heck, maybe Barnes can even give Mack Brown a wink and a gun for some helpful reciprocity.
Brown is willing to put on a fullcourt press for the five-star recruit; according to sources, the Texas head coach completely changed his schedule to accommodate Seals-Jones' visit. And as Burnt Orange Nation's Wescott Eberts points out, Brown has had experience with dual sport athletes before in North Carolina's Julius Peppers and Ronald Curry.
In the end, it's likely that Seals-Jones will be biting off more than he can chew. For example, Texas A&M's Martellus Bennett, a renowned basketball player at Alief Taylor, ended up playing just 174 career minutes for the Aggies in college.
But at 17 with the whole world in front of you, you can do anything. Fingers crossed that Seals-Jones ends up dual sport starring at Texas.
Very brief highlights clip: