2024 College Football Players From Other Sports: MLB’s Monte Harrison to Arkansas, Baylor Basketball’s Caleb Lohner to Utah

    New athletes are joining the college football ranks and not just high schoolers. Here are the top college football players switching sports in 2024.

    With conference realignment and the debut of the expanded College Football Playoff, the 2024 campaign is one of the most anticipated in recent history. But there is even more adding to the allure. Several athletes are joining the fray from other sports, bringing even more eyes to their respective programs.

    Which college football players should you keep an extra eye on this season?

    College Football Players Who Come From Other Sports in 2024

    Former MLB Player Monte Harrison Commits to Arkansas

    In July 2013, a 6’3″, 200-pound, three-star WR recruit committed to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. However, after he was selected in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft, Monte Harrison spurned his football career to make millions out of high school playing baseball.

    Now, over 10 years later, Harrison is returning to the gridiron as a 28-year-old walk-on at Arkansas. Since he never actually attended college, he has four years of eligibility remaining. The last time Harrison donned a helmet and pads, he caught 60 passes for 1,007 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior at Lee’s Summit West High in Missouri.

    The Razorbacks could use more competition in the receiving corps, as outside of Andrew Armstrong, no WR caught more than 15 passes last season. Harrison last suited up for the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds but was released last September.

    Mississippi State Basketball Player Jimmy Bell Jr. Joins Football Team

    In early April, Mississippi State head football coach Jeff Lebby told reporters Bulldogs basketball player Jimmy Bell Jr. was joining the team. The 6’10” and 280-pound center played four years on the hardwood, two at St. Louis and one at West Virginia and Mississippi State.

    Bell only has one year of eligibility remaining, but this isn’t his first foray into college football. He was a three-star offensive tackle prospect coming out of Saginaw, Michigan, in 2018 and held offers from Akron and Eastern Michigan. While he was with the Mountaineers in 2022, he spent some time practicing with the team, but he never saw action.  

    The Bulldogs rebuilt nearly their entire offensive line through the transfer portal, and Bell gives them yet another body to work with. He obviously has the length and mobility to theoretically operate at tackle. Still, it would be a surprise if he actually saw the field this season after not taking a live rep since his final high school season.

    Former Baylor and BYU Basketball Player Caleb Lohner Transfers to Utah

    Four years of college basketball was enough for Caleb Lohner, who saw his playing time dwindle every year of his career. The 6’8″ and 235-pound forward spent his first two years before transferring to Baylor, but he is returning to the state where his collegiate career began … to play football for the Utah Utes.

    MORE: 2024 Top 100 College Football Players

    Lohner is projected to play tight end in his final year of collegiate eligibility. Still, in his commitment announcement, he said that he may “potentially contribute on the court as well” as well.

    It will be difficult for him to see playing time on Kyle Whittingham’s squad, as Brant Kuithe and Landen King have the TE1/2 roles locked down, and transfers Carsen Ryan (UCLA) and Frankie Goodson (JUCO) will challenge senior Miki Suguturaga for any remaining snaps.

    NC State Basketball’s DJ Burns Jr. Has Zero Interest in Football

    NC State forward DJ Burns Jr. took college basketball by storm, leading the team to an improbable Final Four run while averaging 18.3 points. At a listed 6’9″ and 275 pounds, some fans wondered if he hadn’t picked the wrong sport. In fact, the thought of him using his light feet and hulking size on the football field even invaded NFL scouting circles.

    Yet, Burns set the record straight during the NCAA Tournament: “Everybody needs a story to keep it interesting. Maybe there was too much downtime for people to think or something, but I ain’t playing no football.”

    He last played the sport in eighth grade as a tight end and defensive end, but he said he was just better at basketball. With six years of college ball behind him, Burns exhausted his collegiate eligibility, so if he had a change of heart and wanted to attempt a football career, it would have to be professionally.

    Oregon Track Star Micah Williams Joined Football Team in 2023

    In 2021, Micah Williams won the NCAA indoor title in the 60-meter dash, finishing the season with the third-fastest time in the world (6.48 seconds).

    But before the 2023 football season, he approached the coaching staff about bringing his speed to the roster. Oregon is no stranger to having dual-sport athletes on their depth chart, and Williams joining the team had fans reminiscing about Devon Allen and LaMichael James.

    Head coach Dan Lanning gave Williams a chance at receiver, saying, “Micah wanted to play football, and we wanted to give him a chance to see if he can. It’s been a long time. He hasn’t really played since his freshman year of high school, but you can’t coach fast. He’s fast; we’ll see what he’s able to do out there for us.”

    Nevertheless, the move didn’t quite work out, as Williams didn’t see the field, underwent knee surgery in November, and entered the transfer portal this offseason for track.

    Basketball Player Kobe Young Would’ve Stayed at Boise State for Football Opportunity

    After averaging just eight minutes per game for the Broncos last season, 6’7″ and nearly 210-pound sophomore guard Kobe Young entered the transfer portal. Yet, following the news, he said he would consider staying at Boise State … if there was a spot for him on the football team.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Strength of Schedule for All 134 FBS Teams

    Well, apparently, there was not, as a few weeks later, Young announced his commitment to Cal State Fullerton’s basketball team. Young left Chiawana High School as a three-star WR prospect, earning second-team all-conference honors at both wide receiver and defensive line as a senior.

    He even considered pursuing a football opportunity at Washington before ultimately signing with Boise State to further his basketball career.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

    Related Articles