NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JULY 19: Kool-Aid McKinstry #1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks during Day 3 of the 2023 SEC Media Days at Grand Hyatt Nashville on July 19, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JULY 19: Kool-Aid McKinstry #1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks during Day 3 of the 2023 SEC Media Days at Grand Hyatt Nashville on July 19, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images)

3 NFL Draft Prospects Who Were Dual-Athletes

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It is no secret that coaches enjoy having multi-sport athletes on their teams. Some say that they are more coachable while others prefer their athletes to be able to cross-train for their main sport, and some claim that multi-sport athletes are mentally stronger than others. 

Regardless, here are a few 2024 NFL Draft prospects who played multiple sports at one time during their college careers.

Keon Coleman – Football/Basketball

FSU wide receiver Keon Coleman played basketball his freshman year at Michigan State University before he transferred. He was even expecting to play his sophomore year, as well, but suffered a muscle tear from football. This is when the 20-year-old decided to focus solely on football.

“After that week, I just had a real sit-down with myself,” Coleman recalled Tuesday. “Like, yeah, I can go help (the basketball team). But how much would I be hurting myself without getting healthy? So I was like, just get back healthy and then just get back to football. That’s pretty much all I could do,” Detroit Free Press writes.

Coleman did make history in his time at Michigan, though. According to Sports Illustrated, he became the first athlete to score both a touchdown and a basket for an Associated Press Top 10 football and basketball team in 21 years. Former Heisman Trophy winner and FSU athlete Charlie Ward was the last to accomplish this in the 1992-93 season.

John Rhys Plumlee – Football/Baseball

UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee isn’t just busy in the fall, he also stayed busy for a while in the spring. The Knight played baseball as an outfielder in the spring, showing off his speed and agility on both fields.

This past April, both the baseball and football coaches needed Plumlee’s participation on each field at the same time. Here is a video of Plumlee making the quick switch from one sport to the other.

“I remember being on the phone with [Coach Malzahn] when I was in the transfer portal and telling him, ‘Hey, coach, I want to play football but I also want to play baseball.’ He gave me his word. For him to follow through with that, and to go through the lengths he’s gone through — and (UCF baseball coach Greg) Lovelady, too — to give me the opportunity to do what I love to do is really special,” Plumlee has stated

Plumlee was a multi-sport athlete up until his junior year but announced last month that he would forgo his last season to focus on the NFL Draft. 

Kool-Aid McKinstry – Football/Basketball

Like Coleman, Alabama defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry also played both football and basketball up until his sophomore year. This is when he decided he would drop down to one sport and focus on football.

On3 even noted the possibility that Alabama’s 2022 College Football National Championship could have been a motivating factor for Mckinstry as the defensive back has made it clear he wanted to win a national championship.

“I always told my mom I didn’t know what position I’d be playing, but I knew I wanted to play for Alabama in a national championship,” McKinstry said after his announcement to only pursue football.

Who knows what might have happened if Alabama won their 2022 championship game?

Victoria Jonach is an aspiring writer and media analyst fascinated by what kinds of activities players participate in off the football field. Growing up in New Jersey, she is a New York Giants fan and attends Rutgers University, pursuing a career in Journalism and Media Studies. She writes for FirstRoundMock.com covering anticipated draft picks and their acts of volunteerism, entrepreneurship, and other interests that shape these individuals.

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