Seahawks sign LSU track runner who didn’t play college football

The Seahawks are the latest team to bring in an athlete who didn’t play college football.

Cyril Grayson, who ran track at LSU, signed with Seattle today. The Seahawks say he’ll play wide receiver, which he played in high school.

“I know a lot of question marks were raised when I came in because I haven’t played football since 2011,” Grayson said. “So why should I even be here? It’s always been a passion of mine and it’s always been the plan to play [football], but because of scholarships and other reasons with compliance, I wasn’t able to play. I’ve been training on my own and doing things I need to do to stay in shape and stay ready for an opportunity like this. Today was a great day. When I lined up I put up really good numbers. I can’t complain.”

Grayson decided after his track career ended to give football a try, and he worked out at LSU’s Pro Day and put up solid numbers: A 4.33-second 40-yard dash, a 10-foot, 7-inch broad jump and a 34.5-inch vertical jump. (Standard caveat applies, 40-yard dash times at Pro Days are generally faster than at the Scouting Combine.)

Several NFL teams have signed basketball players, wrestlers or track and field athletes who didn’t play college football, and a few such players have had success in the NFL. At 5-foot-9 and 178 pounds, Grayson is small by NFL standards, and his best event was the 400 meters, while track athletes who transition to the NFL usually specialize in the shorter sprints. So he’s a long shot to make it in the NFL. But at this point in the offseason, when teams have plenty of roster space, there’s no harm in seeing what a talented athlete can do.

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