April 13 (UPI) -- The Washington Football Team has signed former Division I men's college basketball player and NFL hopeful Sammis Reyes to their roster.
Reyes hopes to become the latest former basketball player to successfully make the jump to the NFL as a tight end. In doing so, he would be the first Chilean-born player to make a 53-man roster.
Washington announced the signing of Reyes, who had been training at IMG Academy in Florida as part of the league's International Pathway Program, on Tuesday. Participants in that program -- which was instituted in 2017 -- get assigned to a random division, and those clubs could then take one player from the pool of 11 athletes.
The Football Team, however, opted to sign Reyes after his workout at the University of Florida's pro day on March 31 to prevent other teams from claiming him.
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Reyes has the size needed to play tight end. He also ran a 4.65 in the 40-yard dash and recorded 31 reps on the bench press at Florida's pro day.
Reyes, who grew up in Chile before moving to the United States as a teenager, was a basketball star at North Broward Prep in Florida. The football coaching staff at the school tried to convince him to play both sports, and he even practiced with the football team for one week.
But Reyes, who has never played in a game, ultimately decided to quit football to pursue multiple college basketball offers. He told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that his childhood dream was to compete in the NBA.
"I wanted to go to the NBA; that was my dream my entire childhood. And of course it never happened," Reyes told the newspaper. "So when I was 23, my current agent, my family and my close friends, they were like, 'You've got to give this football thing a shot. You're fast, you're strong, you're powerful.'
"So my friends, my best friends, and everybody around me convinced me to give it a shot."
Reyes played two seasons at Tulane, appearing in 32 games and averaging 0.8 points and 1.5 rebounds. Before that, he spent one season at Palm Beach State Junior College.
The 25-year-old Reyes last played at Tulane in 2018.
If Reyes makes Washington's roster, he'd join players such as Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, Mo Alie-Cox and Darren Fells as former Division I basketball players who played tight end in the NFL.