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Duke lacrosse player Chris Hipps reportedly transferring to SMU to play football

As basketball players have started making the transition to the NFL (namely at tight end. See: Gates, Antonio and Graham, Jimmy), is Chris Hipps going to start a college football trend from another sport?

The Duke lacrosse player played football in high school and according to NFL.com, he's going to transfer to SMU and play football.

As a graduate transfer, Hipps will be eligible immediately to play for SMU. He grew up in Highland Park, Texas, which is next to the SMU campus. As a senior in high school at Highland Park, he had 86 catches for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns, the most catches of anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex that season.

Hipps told the Dallas Morning News last week that he knew he could fall back on football if lacrosse didn't work out. But after starting all 20 games in 2014 as a defender on a team that won the national championship on Monday, it's safe to say it worked out.

“Coming from Dallas and playing with all these kids [from the East Coast] whose life is lacrosse, I didn’t know how it would turn out,” Hipps said. “I always had high hopes for myself. I wanted to be out there, wanted to be one of the best. But coming from a non-hotbed area, I didn’t know how successful I was going to be.

“My plan was to play football and lacrosse. If it didn’t work out in lacrosse, I could always fall back on playing both sports.”

Can Hipps make an impact? If the adjustment isn't too rigorous, the opportunity is there, especially as an alternative to SMU's returning receivers. The Mustangs' top four pass-catchers from 2013 return in 2014, but the tallest, Keenan Holman, is listed 6-1. And by playing big-time lacrosse, there should be no worries about Hipps' speed and fitness. He could be a red-zone threat.

For more Duke coverage, visit Duke Illustrated.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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