George Fant (American football)

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George Fant
No. 74 – Seattle Seahawks
Position: Offensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1992-07-19) July 19, 1992 (age 25)
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 322 lb (146 kg)
Career information
High school: Warren Central (KY)
College: Western Kentucky
Undrafted: 2016
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2016
Games played: 14
Games started: 10
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

George Fant (born July 19, 1992) is an American football offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He played college basketball and football at Western Kentucky, and was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2016.

High school career

Fant attended Warren Central High School where he lettered and started all four years in basketball. As a junior, he earned second team All-State honors. As a senior, he recorded 62.2% from the field and led the team with 75 blocks, averaged 21.5 points-per-game and 11.7 rebounds-per-game. For the season, he earned first team All-State honors. When he graduated, he was the schools all-time leader in rebounds (1,039) and third in points (1,805). He was rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and was listed on their Top 150 as the 150th best senior in the nation.[1]

College career

After high school, Fant attended Western Kentucky University, where he majored in recreation.

Basketball career

As a freshman in 2011–2012, he appeared in 31 games with 24 starts. He averaged 26.4 minutes-per-game. He averaged 10.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and had a total of 37 blocks and 29 steals. He also led the team in field goal percentage (.476). His 321 points scored ranked seventh all-time for a freshman in school history. As a sophomore in 2012–2013 he averaged 12.8 points and 6.6 rebounds-per-game. He shot 48.2% from the field going 163-for-338. After averaging 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds-per-game he was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference Tournament team. He was named All-Sun Belt third team. In 2013–2014 as a junior, he averaged 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds-per-game. He finished second on the team in scoring and led the team in rebounding for the second straight season. He finished seventh in the conference in rebounding. He led the team in field goal percentage with (.530), which was good for fifth in the conference. He was named All-Sun Belt third team. As a senior in 2014–2015, he led the team in rebounding with 8.4 rebounds-per-game which was good for third in conference. He averaged 13.8 points-per-game, a career high. He recorded 12 double-doubles, second most in Conference USA. He was named All-Conference for the third consecutive season with second-team honors.[1]

Football career

Throughout his first four years at Western Kentucky, friends and coaches urged Fant to join the Hilltopper's football team but he refused. He received letters from multiple NFL teams in spring 2015 asking if he were interested in giving professional football a chance but disregarded the letters and threw them away.[2] Fant decided to transition to football after weighing his options of either playing basketball overseas in Poland or attempting a football career. With a wife and child to care for, he chose football. Western Kentucky tight ends Tyler Higbee and Devin Scott helped him learn the tight end position and tight ends coach Ryan Wallace also worked with him. He bulked up from 250 lbs to 296 lbs for football.[3] Fant also said that he studied many tapes of another basketball-to-football convert, tight end Jimmy Graham.[2]

Fant used his fifth year of eligibility to join the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football team as a tight end.[4] For the season, he appeared in two games, recording one reception for seven yards, as well as two tackles.[5]

Professional career

Fant was expected to go undrafted after playing only a single year of playing tight end at the collegiate football level. Due to his limited experience, Fant was not one of the 15 collegiate tight ends to attend the NFL Scouting Combine. On March 29, 2016, he attended Western Kentucky’s pro day, along with Brandon Doughty, Tyler Higbee, Prince Charles Iworah, and 11 other prospects. Fant was listed as an offensive lineman during WKU's pro day and weighed in at 296 lbs, 26 lbs heavier than his playing weight of 270 lbs during the season.[6] He impressed the Seahawks' co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner with his athletic ability and worked out at multiple positions including: linebacker, defensive end, defensive tackle, tight end, and offensive tackle. Although he didn't have game film, he was able to impress enough with his athletic ability and size that the Seahawks signed him solely based on a single workout. Offensive line coach Tom Cable had to make the decision between Fant and another offensive line prospect but chose Fant because he was a "long-armed athlete".[2][7]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 4 in
(1.93 m)
296 lb
(134 kg)
4.84 s 1.77 s 2.82 s 4.54 s 7.20 s 37 in
(0.94 m)
9 ft 11 in
(3.02 m)
22 reps
All values from Western Kentucky Pro day.[8]

2016

Fant signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent on May 6, 2016.[9]

Throughout training camp he learned the offensive tackle position quickly and did well enough to win the backup left tackle job behind Bradley Sowell to begin the regular season. He made his professional regular-season debut on October 23, 2016, and played 24 snaps after Sowell sprained his knee during the 6–6 tie with the Arizona Cardinals. He made his first career start during Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints after Sowell was still unable to play due to injury.[7][10] Fant committed two clipping penalties in his first two starts and also committed a false start.

He is the third player that Tom Cable has successfully transitioned into an offensive lineman with little or no collegiate experience at the position. The Seahawks' starting right tackle, Garry Gilliam, was undrafted with only a single year of collegiate experience as a lineman and started in seven months. The first player was J. R. Sweezy, who had no experience, playing only defensive end in college. He transitioned to guard successfully in five months. Fant is the most dramatic change, earning the starting left tackle position in less than 20 months.[3]

On November 13, 2016, he made his third career start against the New England Patriots and was credited with not committing a single assignment error in the Seahawks' 31–24 victory. He ultimately did well enough in his first four career starts that he remained the starter at left tackle once Sowell returned from his injury.[3] He played the last ten consecutive games of the season as the Seattle Seahawks' starting left tackle and finished his rookie season appearing in 14 games with ten starts.[11]

2017

In the second game of the 2017 preseason, Fant tore his ACL and was ruled out for the season.[12] He was placed on injured reserve on September 2, 2017.[13]

Personal life

Fant is married to former Western Kentucky women's basketball player Chastity Gooch and has two children with her. His son, Jayden Fant, was born shortly before his workout with the Seahawks and his second son was born in the spring of 2017.[2][3][14]

References

  1. ^ a b "Basketball - George Fant bio". WKUsports.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gregg Bell (November 16, 2016). "From hoops to Seahawks starter in a year: George Fant's astounding success". TheNewsTribune.com. Retrieved November 26, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bob Condotta (November 19, 2016). "The Amazing transformation of George Fant, from college power forward to starting left tackle for the Seahawks". SeattleTimes.com. Retrieved November 26, 2016. 
  4. ^ Arnold, Geoffrey C. (May 4, 2016). "Seattle Seahawks sign former college basketball player George Fant: Report". OregonLive.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  5. ^ "George Fant - TE for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers". FoxSports.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  6. ^ Zach Greenwell (March 29, 2016). "Fant opens eyes at WKU pro day with bulked-up physique, solid measurements". bgdailynews.com. Retrieved January 7, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b John Boyle (October 26, 2016). "Seahawks Rookie George Fant 'Way Ahead of the Curve' in Transition to Offensive Line". Seahawks.com. Seattle Seahawks. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  8. ^ "George Fant, DS #31 TE, Western Kentucky". NFLDraftScout.com. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  9. ^ Boyle, John (May 6, 2016). "Seahawks Sign 13 Undrafted Free Agents and 9 of 10 Draft Picks". Seahawks.com. Retrieved July 4, 2017. 
  10. ^ Curtis Crabtree (November 17, 2016). "Former basketball player George Fant becomes Seahawks starting left tackle". NBCSports.com. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  11. ^ "NFL Player Profile: George Fant". NFL.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  12. ^ Meyer, Max (August 19, 2017). "Seahawks starting LT George Fant tears ACL". NFL.com. 
  13. ^ Drovetto, Tony (September 2, 2017). "Seahawks Make Three More Trades, Set 53-Man Roster". Seahawks.com. 
  14. ^ Seahawks Offensive Tackle George Fant OTAs Press Conference. Youtube.com (Video). Seattle Seahawks. June 6, 2017. Event occurs at 5:46. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 

External links

  • Western Kentucky Hilltoppers basketball bio
  • Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football bio
  • Seattle Seahawks bio
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