Chilean Basketball Player Sammis Reyes Signs Washington Football Team Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 13, 2021

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 27: Washington Football Team Wide helmet resting on the field prior to an NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Football Team on December 27, 2020, at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Washington Football Team announced Tuesday that it signed Sammis Reyes, who played basketball at Tulane for two seasons.

The 25-year-old Chilean got on the radar of NFL teams through the league's International Player Pathway Program. He worked out for scouts March 31 as part of Florida's pro day.


Sammis Reyes came from Chile to play basketball.<br><br>Now he’s a TE prospect and putting up numbers for pro scouts. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡±πŸ˜² pic.twitter.com/oiKmR9JBNQ

The WFT noted Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham all played basketball in college before becoming All-Pro tight ends in the NFL. To a lesser degree, Washington also had success in 2020 with Logan Thomas, who was a quarterback for Virginia Tech before moving to tight end in the NFL.

NFL Network's Scott Pioli, who worked in a variety of front-office roles for NFL teams, explained how Reyes possesses the physical tools to excel on the gridiron:

Scott Pioli @scottpioli51

For those that didn't get to see TE Sammis Reyes from Chile yesterday on @nflnetwork at @GatorsFB<br>Pro Day. A top prospect in #NFL International Player Pathway (IPP) pipeline #NFLDraft @SammisReyes @NFLEspanol <br>OFFICIAL numbers:<br>HT:6053<br>WT: 260<br>VJ: 40”<br>BJ: 10’5”<br>Reps: 31<br>40: 4.65 pic.twitter.com/09AHSwlSvn

Speaking with the Sun Sentinel's Adam Lichtenstein in January, Reyes said his original dream was to play in the NBA but those around him had insisted for years that he give football a try.

In high school, he practiced with the football team for a week and found "the game came so naturally to me." Because of his size, he began at defensive end before lining up on offense.

"Then they put me at tight end," he said. "I was always great with my hands, coming from basketball. I was taller than everybody, especially in high school. I just did great.

β€œBut after a week, I was like, β€˜You know what? I’ve got 20-plus Division I offers to play basketball. If I get hurt before my senior year, before my senior season in high school for basketball, these schools will drop me.’”

Because of his inexperience, the odds are stacked against Reyes. But it's not hard to see why Washington decided to take a flier on the 6'6", 260-pound pass-catcher.