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UA’s Onobun thinks Coltish during workout at dome

Citizen Staff Writer



INDIANAPOLIS – Are there any Colts scouts in the arena?

If so, they may want to check out University of Arizona senior Fendi Onobun as the Wildcats get set to take on Louisville in a Sweet 16 game Friday.

Although Onobun, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound senior, has said steadfastly he’s not interested in playing in the National Football League, he opened up about it – even if he was joking.

“I hope the Colts are here looking at me,” he said Thursday, laughing.

His comment came right after a question of what will become of Onobun once the season ends and he’s done with school.

He’ll get a degree in interdisciplinary studies in May. He said last month he’s interested in continuing his basketball career, wherever that may be.

But on Thursday, he talked about football for the first time in a while. The problem is that he’s never played the game, although he has an NFL body.

“Who knows?” he said. “Maybe. We’ll see.”

What position would he play? Tight end? Outside linebacker? Defensive end?

“It would be a challenge,” he said. “It’s worth giving it a shot if the opportunity is there.”

When told other former college basketball players have attempted the transition – most recently 6-foot-7 Jai Lewis of George Mason had a tryout with the New York Giants three years go – Onobun asked, “How did that go? Did he stick?”

Lewis didn’t, ending his NFL attempt three months after signing with the Giants.

Onobun said he’s looked into some of the history of former basketball stars Antonio Gates (Kent State) and Tony Gonzalez (California) now in the NFL. Gonzalez played both sports at Cal; Gates just basketball at Kent State.

“It was how they did and how they made the transition,” Onobun said. “They definitely paved the way for guys like me. So, it could happen.”

He admitted, however, “I’d have to learn a lot.”

What he does know is that he’s enjoyed the Arizona postseason run. He says this is easily the best team he’s ever been on.

“I’ve been on teams here with great players, but as a whole it’s the closest team I’ve ever been a part of,” he said.

That’s why he hopes it continues past Friday.

“It’s been nice and exciting,” he said. “It’s been unbelievable. I don’t want it to end. I want to ride this thing until the wheels fall off.”

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