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LSU offered Duke star Zion Williamson scholarship to play football

State Farm Champions Classic

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 06: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils grabs a rebound against the kentucky Wildcats during the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 6, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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While Zion Williamson is setting the basketball world on fire with his explosive dunks and head-over-the-rim blocks, there are plenty of football minds out there wondering just what the 6-foot-7, 285 pound behemoth could do with a set of pads and a helmet on.

That very sentiment is what inspired a former LSU assistant football coach to offer Williamson a scholarship to LSU out of the blue a couple of years back.

“I thought, hell, why not, he’s probably the best damn tight end to ever live,” Eric Mateos, who was the tight ends coach at LSU in the fall of 2016, told ESPN this week.

“Honestly, I just thought it would be really fun and would be good exposure for LSU if we offered him for football. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to be too [interested]. Coach O said go recruit the best athletes in the country, and that’s what I tried to do.”

There has been some debate on football twitter about what position Zion would play should he decide that his future is not in basketball. In a day and age where ex-basketball players are a pipeline straight to NFL tight end, it would make sense to play his there. What can, say, Gronk or Travis Kelce do that Zion can’t?

Then again, we see the difference a dominant pass-rusher can have on a defense. Why can’t Zion be Jadeveon Clowney, or J.J. Watt, or Khalil Mack?

If it was up to me, I’d say both. Let him play both sides of the ball. Let him be used to try and block field goals, too. Hell, he’s the greatest Hail Mary specialist in the history of the sport as well.

I guess the only surprising thing here is that LSU as the only football program to offer him a scholarship.