Mark Vital Jr. signs with Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad
Seattle, WA (KPLC) - From Baylor basketball national champion to NFL tight end, Mark Vital Jr. has had a busy five months. On Thursday, Vital took a step closer to fulfilling his NFL aspirations by signing with the Seattle Seahawks. Vital (6′5, 250 pounds) will begin his NFL career on the Seahawks’ practice squad as a tight end.
His signing comes off the heels of his NBA Summer League stint with the Portland Trailblazers. He averaged 1.3 points, four rebounds and .7 assists in three games.
Following Summer League play, the Lake Charles native said he worked out with a few NFL teams like the Dallas Cowboys (and obviously the Seahawks).
“They liked the way I looked. They said I had great hands and I was fast and big,” said Vital. “I can do a lot of things that can help teams. It’s a learning experience because it’s something different.”
Vital said his choice to switch careers had nothing to do with a lack of opportunities in the NBA.
“I was never going to leave basketball just to leave basketball. I had a plan, but I had to make sure that the plan was right,” said Vital. “I’m leaving basketball with things on the table. I had exhibit 10s, two-ways and overseas deals. For me to leave that, I actually had to have something in football.”
That something is an NFL opportunity and a return to the gridiron for the first time since middle school. Despite that lack of football experience, Vital doesn’t lack the confidence to follow in the footsteps of basketball players who became great NFL tight ends.
“I feel like I can be a Hall of Famer. I’m already getting compared to Antonio Gates from different scouts and teams when hearing them talk about me. I’m already getting compared to a Hall of Famer and that’s motivation to me to get to that level,” admitted Vital. “I can see the similarities. He and I are both explosive, fast and big. We are built the same.”
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