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This former BYU basketball player shares how he once got an offer to try out at tight end for an NFL team

Jonathan Tavernari recalled how a chance encounter in an airport with two then-Carolina Panthers coaches led to the offer

Former BYU player Jonathan Tavernari shared on Twitter how a chance encounter with two NFL coaches led to an offer to try out as tight end with the team.
BYU guard Jonathan Tavernari (45) drives against TCU forward Kevin Langford (32) in men’s basketball action at the Marriott Center Tuesday, January 13, 2009. Tavernari shared on Twitter how a chance encounter with two NFL coaches led to an offer to try out as tight end with the team.
Jason Olson, Deseret News

More than a decade ago, Jonathan Tavernari wowed BYU crowds with his athleticism and scoring abilities on the basketball floor.

Turns out the former Cougar could also catch the eye of an NFL coach or two.

Tavernari, the Brazilian who played basketball at BYU from 2006-10 before going on to a professional career overseas that lasted nearly a decade, shared a crazy story on Twitter that showed just how much his athleticism impressed coaches in another sport.

Late Monday, Tavernari recalled the details of returning to the United States and bumping into a pair of NFL coaches — one of them then-Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, the other then-Panthers tight end coach Pete Hoener — during a layover. From that chance meeting came an offer to try out at tight end.

Here’s the full story from Tavernari: