Making the transition from college to the National Football League is not easy for any player, but especially one moving from basketball to football. Cleveland Browns tight end Marcus Santos-Silva is working on a transition from college basketball, yes basketball, to professional football.
Santos-Silva played college basketball at Texas Tech and VCU before signing an undrafted free agent deal with the Browns in May. There is no guarantee he will make the 53-man roster for the Browns regular season, but the 6-6, 261-pound player is working towards that goal.
Making an NFL roster is already a struggle, but now Santos-Silva says he is learning a "whole new language" as he trades the court for the field.
"I'm not really worried about the physicality part. I know I'm going to get hit, blocked and all that. I'm good with that. Once I get the hang of it, I'm going to get back to holding my ground out there." Santos-Silva said, via the team's website.
For now, he wants to make sure he knows the plays inside and out.
"... Since we have this break until training camp, that's one of my main goals is to commit to the playbook," he said. He also watches other tight ends, saying the main person he looks to is now-retired Rob Gronkowski, to study their "footwork and blocking."
On his talks with Alie-Cox, Santos-Silva said, "The pointers he's given me have really helped me out because I have a type of vision of what it's going to be like."
As to why Santos-Silva decided to make the transition, he said, "I saw that no NBA agents were hitting me up, it was all overseas and I didn't really want to go overseas, I wanted to stay home. So I was like 'you know what? Let me do the NFL route.'"
Continuing, he said (via Sports Illustrated), "The main thing was I didn't want to have any regret. I've been grateful for what basketball has done for me. It brought me to this opportunity and now I'm ready for a new journey."
Santos-Silva has enjoyed his journey so far and is ready to do everything he can to make the team.
"I'm 100 percent committed to this whole thing. I really want to make this work out because I've actually had a lot of fun with it," he said.