INDIANAPOLIS – At first glance, Mo Alie-Cox is definitely a player his coach would want getting off the bus first.
Alie-Cox's physique looks like a guy who should be playing on Sunday's.
For the last four years, Alie-Cox has been busy intimidating basketball opponents from trying to the enter the paint of VCU's defense.
Now, Alie-Cox is about to embark on a journey that he hopes ends with getting off professional football buses for years to come.
The Colts signed Alie-Cox last Friday, in an effort to see if the Joe Reitz/Mo Alie-Cox magic still exists with Chris Ballard now calling the shots in Indy.
When post-collegiate basketball life for Alie-Cox began last month, after VCU's first-round exit from the NCAA Tournament, the undying passion for football marked his next journey.
"I really just wanted to go ahead and play football, Alie-Cox said after signing with the Colts on Friday. "It was my first love. I played it growing up as a kid. I really didn't start playing basketball until eighth grade or my freshman year in high school.
"I told myself if I ever had the opportunity to play football that I would definitely take it and the opportunity was there."
What the Colts can offer Alie-Cox cannot be said in every other stop around the NFL.
The Colts have history developing "projects" into contributors.
On his visit to Indianapolis last Monday, Alie-Cox was also struck by the atmosphere in place after having lunch with Andrew Luck, Jack Doyle and Erik Swoope. Alie-Cox also sat down and watched film with Chuck Pagano.
In Pagano, Alie-Cox sees a lot of similarities to Shaka Smart, who coached and recruited Alie-Cox through the 2014-15 season at VCU.
The talks with Swoope, who had zero football playing experience before joining the Colts in 2014, helped the decision-making process.
"(Swoope) said once he got here they welcomed him with open arms and were willing to help him with whatever he needed," Alie-Cox said. "He said they would do the same for me. It would be a smooth transition. I have people to learn from, guys who work hard and an organization that is going to be behind me 100% in developing me and making sure I turn into the football player I want to be."
When Alie-Cox gets on the football field later this year it will be his first time on the gridiron since his freshman year of high school.
At 6-7 and 250 pounds, the VCU power forward quickly attracted NFL scouts to his basketball games.
From his first game at VCU, scouts were intrigued.
Alie-Cox even heard from Cowboys' longtime Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten. A connection with the VCU coaching staff brought Witten to one of Alie's Cox games a few years back.
Witten made sure to let Alie-Cox know the NFL could be his calling one day.
"He just said if I wanted to make the transition, I definitely could make it based off my intangibles alone, my hands, my arm length, my body size---a strong/physical athlete," Alie-Cox said of Witten.
The Colts will be where Alie-Cox tries to make the gargantuan jump from freshman football to the professional game.
Despite the lack of high school football experience, teams were in hot pursuit of Alie-Cox.
The Buccaneers, Chargers, Eagles, Jets and Seahawks were some of the serious pursuers.
But it was the Colts, with Swoope already one successful case study, bringing the former basketball player to the Hoosier state.
Aspirations for instant success are there for Alie-Cox, even if he realizes there's a more likely path before that goal is to be achieved.
"Hopefully I make the roster this year," Alie-Cox says. "I know it is going to take a long time to learn and get adjusted to football in general. If I am on the practice squad for a year and make the active roster next year (great).
"I am just coming in with an open mindset and willing to work and get better every day."
The Colts Sign TE Mo Alie-Cox!
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