Updated: Jan 16
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs will be one of the first players to hear his name called during the 2021 NBA Draft. He's highly rated in all mock drafts, with mosst simulations pegging Suggs to go no later than fourth overall on draft day.
The thing is, Suggs could've just as easily been hearing his name called in April during the NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Suggs was a two-sport sensation in high school at Minnesota's Minnehaha Academy, excelling on both the hardwood and the gridiron. He helped the school win a pair of 2A state titles in basketball and quarterbacked the football team to a state final appearance. As a senior, Suggs became the first athlete in Minnesota high school history to be named Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball during the same season.
Suggs was offered 22 college scholarships to play basketball. Along with Gonzaga, other top schools who pursued him included Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Iowa, Kansas and West Virginia.
There was also plenty of interest in Suggs, the second cousin of former NFL All-Pro linebacker Terrell Suggs, from prominent college football programs. According to 24/7 Sports, Suggs was rated the No. 384 player in the 2020 football class, the No. 15 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 2 player in the state of Minnesota. During his senior season, playing quarterback and defensive back, Suggs passed for 2,213 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also rushed for 978 yards and 12 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, he made nine interceptions, returning two for touchdowns.
Among the schools who recruited Suggs to play football were Georgia, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio State.