Florida football coach Will Muschamp has given freshman quarterback Jacoby Brissett the green light to play both football and basketball if he keeps his grades up this fall.
Brissett wouldn’t be the first Florida athlete to try to play two sports. Jeff Demps has successfully balanced football and track and field. But for every Jeff Demps, there’s a Cornelius Ingram. Ingram tried to play football and basketball but gave up hoops to focus on football after just two seasons.
Nyan Boateng wasn’t even given the green light to try both football and basketball by former UF coach Urban Meyer, presumably for academic reasons.
The 6-foot-5 Brissett, a three-star prospect according to Rivals.com, is no doubt an exceptional athlete. But most recruiting analysts contend that by trying to balance two sports in high school, Brissett hasn’t had the chance to fully refine his basketball skills.
Also, Brissett would become another guard on a roster already loaded with combo and shooting guards. Florida will come into the 2011 season with five guards talented enough to start on most Division I programs — Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton, Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario, Scottie Wilbekin and incoming freshman McDonald’s All-American Brad Beal.
Still, Florida coach Billy Donovan said he would welcome Brissett if he chooses to play basketball next winter.
“I’ve talked to Will about it – there’s not a problem at all with him playing here,” Donovan said. “Now, you talk about a kid missing … workouts in September. October we start practice. November, December, January – he comes into (basketball) practice completely not knowing one thing.
“Now, as practice starts, he tries to go from football shape to basketball shape. Now, as we start to go toward the SEC tournament, they start spring practice. I think what’s going to end up happening is he’s going to have to make a decision.”
Alex Tyus had his first NBA workout on Wednesday with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tyus has bulked up to between 225 and 230 pounds in an effort to market himself as a power forward.
Chandler Parsons had workouts with the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, who pick late in the first round. Some feel that Parsons could be a good fit for the Spurs with the 29th pick in the draft. Others aren’t completely sold.
Vernon Macklin had workouts this week with the Indiana Pacers and the New Jersey Nets.