On one of the biggest and best sporting days of the year in March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament, the Indianapolis Colts have joined the festivities in their own unique way: they signed a former college basketball player. The Colts announced today that they have signed Demarco Cox to play offensive tackle.
Cox, who is 6-8 and 294 pounds, played collegiate basketball at Ole Miss from 2010-2014 before then transferring to Georgia Tech for the 2014-15 season as a fifth-year graduate transfer. He started all but one game for Georgia Tech, averaging 8.8 points per game (shooting 50.7% from the field) and 6.0 rebounds per game, finishing third on the team in both statistics, also finishing the season with a team-high 28 blocked shots. He was playing just as recently as nine days ago in the ACC tournament. In four years at Ole Miss, he played in 102 games (starting 29) and averaged 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He does have a football background, however, as he played the sport in high school and was recruited by a number of SEC and Big 10 schools and being ranked nationally by Scout.com as an offensive lineman (playing both guard and tackle).
This signing reminds many of Joe Reitz, who was a college basketball player at Western Michigan. He was given a shot by a couple of teams in offseason work before finally vein signed by the Colts to play along their offensive line and has done quite well during his time in Indy, earning himself a new three-year contract this offseason from the team. And then even last year, the Colts signed tight end Erik Swoope, who played collegiate basketball at Miami.
There's a lot to like about this signing, because in the offseason the rosters are at 90 players and there's much more flexibility to take chances on players like Reitz or Swoope or Cox in the hopes that they would develop into solid NFL players. Cox does have significant athletic potential and, while there will absolutely be an adjustment period, he's a guy that will be interesting to keep an eye on as the Colts work with him this offseason and into training camp.