Freshman Jay Rome was a big part of Mark Richt's 2010 "Dream Team" recruiting class. Now the 6-foot-6 tight end from Valdosta wants to take a shot at making an impact for Mark Fox on the Georgia Basketball team. Rome plans to join Nick Marshall as football players that will join the hoops team once football season has ended.
"I'm not exactly sure when I'll be able to star working with the team but me and my father talked with Coach Fox a week or so ago and basketball is definitely going to happen," said Rome, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward. "In high school, I always thought basketball was my favorite sport, but I figured I'd have a better chance to play football in college. But over the past month or so, I decided I wanted to play basketball again because I missed it so much."
Rome has a solid basketball background as he was a three-time player of the year at Valdosta and averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds as a senior. He scored 33 points against Norcross in the state playoffs last season. Rome is expected to play the small forward position in college.
Rome is currently redshirting with the football team as he has been caught up in a numbers game at the tight end position behind players such as Orson Charles and Aron White. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school and appears to have a bright future with the Bulldogs.
In the past, Mark Richt has never had a problem with players such as Rome or Marshall competing for the basketball team as long as they can handle themselves academically. With Basketball practice beginning this weekend, it remains to be seen what kind of impact, if any, Rome and Marshall can have in Basketball but past success stories like Larry Brown in the late 90's shows that it is possible. Even if the on court contributions are minimal, the added depth and competition in practice will be a boost to Fox's club.
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