Brevyn Spann-Ford was a blocking tight end for the Gophers. He could shine as a pass catcher in the NFL.

INDIANAPOLIS — There was a time in his life that former Gophers tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford wasn’t the biggest fan of blocking. He starred at receiver growing up in St. Cloud, Minn., and enjoyed scoring touchdowns himself rather than paving the way for others.

That’s why a particular answer on Thursday at the NFL Combine was so revealing. Asked if he could call any play in the playbook, Spann-Ford had no hesitation saying he would run inside zone. Why call a run up the middle rather than, say, a pass to himself?

“When I was at Minnesota, that was our statement play,” Spann-Ford said. “You can set the tone for the whole game with that play.”

Not long after arriving on the U campus as a teenager, Spann-Ford officially switched from receiver to tight end. He learned the fundamentals of blocking from other players before him while simultaneously growing into his body. He slowly started to fall in love with that part of the game as he got better and better at it.

It never bothered him that he rarely got the glory.

“It’s about winning games,” Spann-Ford said. “It’s not about my personal needs. It’s about the team’s personal needs. That’s all I was focused on throughout my college career, and look forward to doing that in the NFL as well.”

Still, as much as Spann-Ford takes pride in being deployed as a blocker, he knows he can shine as a pass catcher in the NFL given the opportunity. Let’s just say his massive 6-foot-7, 270-pound frame lends itself to being a red-zone target. He could emerge as a matchup nightmare in the right situation.

“Just being able to go up top to go get the football,” Spann-Ford said. It wasn’t necessarily something I was needed for in our offense, so I’m excited to show that at the next level.”

It will be interesting to see which team takes a chance on him in the 2024 draft. He met with the Vikings a couple of times at the Senior Bowl last month. He grew up cheering for them as a kid and was actually in the building when former star running back Adrian Peterson broke the NFL rookie rushing record.

What would it mean if the Vikings selected him in this year’s draft?

“It’d definitely be a dream come true,” Spann-Ford said. “It’d be awesome.”

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