Could Corey make this catch in traffic with a football and pads?
Two things this week got me thinking about Corey Raji trying football in 2011. First was seeing Jimmy Graham put on a good show during Monday Night Football. The second was reading about Steve Donahue talking about Corey's smooth stroke. The reality is that Corey is probably not going to play in the NBA. While he is a good defender and college rebounder, he doesn't have the handle to be a wing in the NBA, nor the size to play in the interior. He could probably make a go of it in Europe but that is not a given.
However, very few borderline pro hoops prospects have brothers who were first round NFL Draft picks. BJ and his burgeoning success has got to be a model for Corey. BJ is making more playing football than Corey ever could make playing hoops in Europe. Plus Corey has a slight understanding of the physicality of football. I know that is not the same as getting hit yourself, but it does count for something.
Now if Corey decided to play football, his natural position might be an issue. Would he be a WR? A Tight End? Maybe a Defensive End? With such a limited window to try football, I think Spaz and his staff would have to give him a quick tryout at each position and see which one he gravitates towards. If he can't catch, then you put him on D, etc.
Could Spaz even use him? That is another question. We have decent depth at WR and TE. Corey might not even see the field. While we have some nice experience returning at DE, Corey might be able to work himself into that rotation. Does Spaz have a scholarship for him? Maybe. It looks like we will max out on the recruiting class, but a kid is bound to leave or wash out before fall practices begin. If it really came down to cost, I am sure BJ would pick up the tab for Corey to be a football walkon for one semester.
Although Corey is a good athlete, he could have a really strong year in football and still not get a shot at the NFL. It might not be worth the trouble or potential injury, but it would be a fun end to the Raji family's time at the Heights.