Former Baylor National Championship basketball player Mark Vital Jr. is looking to change his career path after experiencing the highest honor in college basketball. He wants to take his talents to the National Football League.
Back in April, Vital was part of the Baylor Bears who won the National Title for the first time in program history. The Big 12 member dominated Gonzaga, winning 86-70 at Lucas Oil Stadium led by four double-figure scorers. Vital had six points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists in 27 minutes played.
Vital went undrafted last July but earned a spot on the Portland Trail Blazers’ Summer League roster.
Vital, who stands 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, just recently took to Twitter and officially announced his intentions to try his luck in the NFL. He has not played the sport since 8th grade.
The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly pursuing him, and that’s despite him once saying he wasn’t a football player.
“I had a tweet from a while back that I recently deleted because I didn’t want it to go viral. I said, ‘don’t compare me to a football player because I’m never going to be a football player.’ Next thing you know, guess what happens? I’ve made the decision to be a football player,” said Vital. “Everyone was sending it to me and laughing, so I had to just delete it.”
He also said other chances to work with NFL teams are upcoming.
“I’ve worked out for a couple of teams and they liked the way I looked. They said I had great hands and I was fast and big,” said Vital. “I can do a lot of things that can help teams. It’s a learning experience because it’s something different.”
“I was never going to leave basketball just to leave basketball. I had a plan, but I had to make sure that the plan was right,” said Vital to KPLC News. “I’m leaving basketball with things on the table. I had exhibit 10s, two-ways and overseas deals. For me to leave that, I actually had to have something in football.”
Vital has big things he’s trying to obtain when he gets to the NFL, which includes being a hall of famer.
“I feel like I can be a Hall of Famer. I’m already getting compared to Antonio Gates from different scouts and teams when hearing them talk about me. I’m already getting compared to a Hall of Famer and that’s motivation to me to get to that level,” Vital told KPLC. “I can see the similarities. He and I are both explosive, fast and big. We are built the same.”