Former WKU athlete George Fant signs 3-year, $30 million deal with NFL’s New York Jets

George Fant Headshot

Drake Kizer

Former WKU men’s basketball and football player George Fant, 27, has agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract with the New York Jets that includes $13.7 million guaranteed, according to a tweet posted by ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Monday night.

Fant, a Cincinnati native who graduated from Warren Central High School in Bowling Green, spent the past four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, playing in 46 games with 24 starting nods.

Fant only played one season of football for the Hilltoppers following a four-year standout basketball career at WKU. He used his fifth year of collegiate eligibility to hit the gridiron for one season, appearing in two games with one reception for seven yards on offense and a pair of tackles on defense.

Following the 2015 season, Fant bulked up in an attempt to play offensive line and impressed the Seattle Seahawks at WKU football’s Pro Day. The organization signed Fant as an undrafted free agent in 2016, and the left tackle went on to make 14 appearances with 10 starts during his rookie season.

After tearing his ACL in the Seahawks’ second preseason game in 2017, head coach Pete Carroll used Fant in a hybrid role that saw the 6-foot-5-inch, 322-pounder get snaps at both tackle and tight end on offense during the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. Now, Fant will move on after four seasons in Seattle.

Fant has played both left and right tackle in the NFL, and the Jets are hoping their new acquisition can help improve their woeful offensive line, which allowed quarterback Sam Darnold — who was coached by current WKU football head coach Tyson Helton at USC — to get sacked 52 times a season ago.

Fant, who is frequently in attendance for WKU basketball games in Diddle Arena, is married to former WKU women’s basketball standout Chastity Gooch. The couple has three children.

#ProTops raking in NFL contract money

The WKU football program has produced several highly paid NFL players in the last several months, as former Hilltopper tight ends Jack Doyle and Tyler Higbee both signed lucrative contracts as well.

The Los Angeles Rams signed Higbee to a four-year extension with a base value of $31 million on Sept. 5, 2019, while the Indianapolis Colts signed Doyle to a three-year extension worth more than $21 million in new money on Dec. 6, 2019. Fant’s contract brings the three-man total to about $81 million.

Former WKU football standouts Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Forrest Lamp, Deon Yelder and Taywan Taylor were also on NFL active rosters during the 2019 season. Yelder won Super Bowl LIV with the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 2, becoming the first Hilltopper to ever play in and win a Super Bowl.

Sports Editor Drake Kizer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Drake on Twitter at @drakekizer_.