New Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer recently revealed that while he was a wide-recievers coach at Note Dame, he offered LeBron James a football scholarship when LeBron was just a sophomore.
“I offered him a scholarship when he was a sophomore in high school at St. Vincent St. Mary’s,” Meyer told the Palm Beach Post. “I was at Notre Dame. He was a receiver, and I was a receiver’s coach.” Meyer said as sophomore in 2000, James was "great."
LeBron was named first-team all-state in Ohio in his sophomore year and led the his school to the state semifinals in his junior year. He didn't play football as a senior because he broke his wrist playing AAU basketball before the season.
Meyer left Notre Dame the next year in 2001 to become the head coach at Bowling Green, before moving on to Utah, Florida and now Ohio State.
But what if LeBron took the scholarship to Notre Dame back in 2000 when it was offered and followed he through?
Well, LeBron's freshman year as a football player would have been in 2003, the same year that freshman Brady Quinn took over the reigns from Carlyle Holiday on Week 4 against Purdue for Tyrone Willingham's Irish. LeBron could have formed an unbelievable passing game for the Irish with fellow freshman wide-out Jeff Samardzija.
If LeBron stayed the course at Notre Dame, he would have seen Willingham get canned in 2004 and Charlie Weis take over in '05, a memorable season where the Irish finished 9-3, including losing a classic game to top-ranked USC on the "Bush Push" on the game's final drive. The Irish went on to lose to Ohio State in the Fiesta bowl that season.
LeBron would have been a senior in 2006, the year the Irish finished 10-3. Quinn finished third in Heisman voting that year (behind Troy Smith and Darren McFadden) before waiting around on Draft day in '07 before finally being selected by the Browns. If LeBron played all four years at Notre Dame and entered the '07 NFL Draft, his competition would at wide receiver would have been: Calvin Johnson (Pick 2 to Detroit), Ted Ginn (pick 9 to Miami), Dwaye Bowe (Pick 23 to Kansas City), Buster Davis (Pick 30 to San Diego) and Anthony Gonzalez (Pick 32 to Indianapolis). The lone tight end taken in the first round that year was Greg Olsen to the Bears at No. 31.
It would have been interesting to see LeBron out there on Saturday afternoons with Quinn and Samardzija for sure. But I'm pretty sure LeBron is happy with the way his basketball career is playing out now.