Kobe Bryant Was Recruiting Explosive Rookie WR for Eagles

Laviska Shenault Jr. Packers Interest

Getty Laviska Shenault Jr. #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes carries the ball against the Washington Huskies in the first quarter at Folsom Field on November 23, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado.

The images of Kobe and Gianna Bryant sitting courtside can never be erased from memory. They are beautiful moments frozen in time.

Of course, that famous viral photo from the Lakers’ Dec. 29 game at Staples Center took on extra special meaning in Philadelphia since Kobe was wearing his Eagles green knit cap. There he was, repping his hometown football team in the arena he made famous. Unbelievable.

Well, Kobe may have been recruiting a certain rookie receiver from the University of Colorado. According to DNVR’s Ryan Koenigsberg, the NBA legend took a few moments to talk with Laviska Shenault Jr. who was seated next to him at the game. Bryant seized the opportunity to make his pitch. (h/t to NBC Sports Philadelphia‘s Adam Hermann)

And on this night, Shenault got his own Kobe memory to cherish for a lifetime.

“I actually haven’t been able to talk to anybody about this, but one of the talks we had—he had an Eagles hat on, and one of the things he said was, ‘Man, Philly sure needs a receiver,’” Laviska explained, raising his eyebrows and smirking in a way that helped you imagine the exact way Kobe delivered the line.

“That was so exciting for him to say that,” he added. “I responded with, ‘Aye, I can get the job done for you.’ That was a special moment.”

Shenault Could Be Draft-Day Steal (or Biggest Bust)

Laviska Shenault could either be a complete bust or the steal of this year’s draft. The Colorado receiver has been favorably compared to Julio Jones but injuries are a concern. The 6-foot-2, 229-pound playmaker appeared in just 20 games over the past two seasons while dealing with a nagging pelvic injury.

Shenault has been a freak when healthy, though. He has hauled in 149 balls for 1,943 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in three college seasons (27 games). More impressively, he has 2,223 yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns.

He has game-changing speed and will reportedly take part in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine after initial reports suggested otherwise. Shenault is expected to go in either the first or second round, depending on what he clocks in the 40 (many are predicting around 4.5 seconds due to the injury).

“I want to show the scouts that I can do anything that you ask. I can check every box,” Shenault said shortly after he declared for the NFL draft, via Colorado’s website. “I can basically do anything that they ask. I don’t have a lot to say about that but I feel like I can do whatever the task is and I can get the job done in a great way.”

He said he doesn’t care which team drafts him, then added that the “Dolphins would be cool.”

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