Texas athlete could play two sports

Arizona would love the services of Jermichael Finley. Which Arizona team you ask? How about both Mike Stoops' football program <B>AND</B> Lute Olson's basketball team. Finley is one of two Texans who have a shot at playing both sports at the UA.

We aught up with Diboll athletic director/head football coach Finis Vanover to collect a bit more information on superstar prospect Jermichael Finley.

Finley, a 6-4, 215-pounder, started 7 games as a defensive end his freshman year.

"It was actually more of a rush DE/OLB role, but we also dropped him in coverage."

As a sophomore, the multi-sport talent was off to an incredible start at the tight end position before succumbing to a staph infection where he ended his season prematurely, missing the last five games of football and the basketball team's first 15 games.

"Then he came back with a vengeance this year playing tight end on offense and safety on defense."

Offensive Stats: 48 receptions, 1350 yards, 28.5 yards per reception, 16 TDs.

"We use him to return kicks and punts also. He returned two punts for TDs -- one came in our playoff game against Crockett -- it got us going."

Will he be used to return kicks and punts again in his final season?

"Hell, yes," Vanover said. "Guys like that make you look like a smart coach," he continued. "If he's standing by me on the sideline, and not playing in the game, they're going to find someone else to coach this team."

Vanover's a riot, and fun to talk to, no doubt.

While the standout athlete competes in both football and basketball, Finley moves right into track and field immediately after basketball…

"He runs the 200 meters, mile relay and competes in the triple jump."

Moving along to scholarship offers…

Asked who officially offered Finley at this point, Vanover said, "He's received official letters from Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma, UCLA and USC."

While the in-state programs are well aware of who Finley is, officially, offers have not yet made their way to Diboll high school from any of the in-state schools, according to Vanover.

"I can tell you right now, for sure, that both Texas and Texas A&M will be offering him soon."

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: Finley is a better football player than he is a basketball player, but apparently he would be allowed to play both sports at the UA. He is not a good enough basketball player to receive an offer from Olson's staff, but he is good enough that there would be a spot on the roster after the football season if he pledges to the football team.

We've heard that Finely is very interested in the Wildcats, the idea of playing for both Stoops and Olson holds some appeal for a player who could rocket up the football recruiting lists. The football team would love to land Finley and have no problem using the basketball team to land a top recruit.


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