Zion Williamson Shunned LSU Football for Duke Basketball and NBA Stardom

Zion Williamson quickly jumped on people’s radar while he was in high. When people saw highlights of his games, he instantly became a fan favorite. With his size and frame, it looked like a grown man playing against boys.

Williamson’s leaping ability was a sight to see, especially with his height and size. It made you wonder, what kind of person could jump like that with that frame? As successful as he was on the court, he also had the body to play on the gridiron.

He even caught interest from one of the top football schools in the country.

What school reached out to Zion about football?

While Zion Williamson was enjoying a successful high school career, a college football coach took an interest in the high-profile athlete. Former LSU assistant coach Eric Mateos once offered Williamson a scholarship to play tight end at LSU.

Mateos saw the athleticism that Williamson possessed and thought that he could be just as successful on the football field. “I thought, why not, he’s probably the best tight end to ever live,” Mateos told ESPN.

The fact that Mateos extended a scholarship to Williamson, even though he never played football before, just goes to show you how people believe in Williamson’s potential. The high school that Williamson attended did not have a football team either. “Any time you have an athlete that can generate that much explosive power in a controlled manner, that’s a level of elite that translates to a bunch of different football positions,” Mateos said.

Williamson would decline the offer and said that he had no interest in playing football at the college level. He made the right decision focusing on basketball.

What if Zion choose to play on LSU’s football team?

LSU is one of the powerhouse programs when it comes to college football. The program attracts the top recruit’s year in and year out from across the country. What if Williamson did take that scholarship? Given the fact that he never played football before, it’s hard to say if he would have been successful or not, especially playing on that level.

There are so many things he would have to learn, from the playbook to understanding how to play his position the correct way. Yes, his size and frame could allow him to play on the DI level, but he may not have possessed the skillset like he did in basketball. It would have been a sight to see Williamson in football pads and a helmet on.

Making the right decision

Williamson went on to have a successful freshman season at Duke in which he was named the Naismith Player of the Year in college basketball. After his one year at Duke, he would become the No.1 overall draft pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Williamson was destined to play basketball, and football was not in the picture. He will continue to catch alley-oops and throw down dunks in the NBA instead of catching passes in the end zone.