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Ricardo Darnell Gathers (born January 7, 1994) is an American football tight end who is currently a free agent. He played college basketball at Baylor University and did not play college football. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round (217th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Rico Gathers
Free agent
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1994-01-07) January 7, 1994 (age 25)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:285 lb (129 kg)
Career information
High school:Riverside Academy
(Reserve, Louisiana)
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 6 / Pick: 217
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2018
Receiving yards:45
Receiving touchdowns:0
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

Gathers was named Louisiana Mr. Basketball while at Riverside Academy in Reserve, Louisiana.[1] As a sophomore, he contributed to his team winning the state title, while averaging 19.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and earning Most Outstanding Player honors at the state tournament.

As a junior, he averaged 20.7 points, 16.2 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game. As a senior, he helped his team reach the Class 2A state championship game, while averaging 22 points, 17 rebounds, 4.1 blocks, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

College careerEdit

Gathers accepted a scholarship from Baylor University. He became a starter at power forward as a junior, averaging 11.6 points (second on the team), 11.6 rebounds (led the team), 1.2 steals and one block and in 29.9 minutes per game. At the end of the season, he received All-Big 12, honorable-mention All-American and Big 12 All-Defensive Team honors.[2]

He also led the conference in double-doubles with 17. He recorded a school record 28 rebounds in a win over Huston-Tillotson.[3] his final year he averaged 11.4 points and 9.1 rebounds.

Gathers is Baylor's All-Time Leading rebounder. He also is the first player ever to reach over 1,000+ points and 1,000+ rebounds in school history.

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 6 14 in
(1.99 m)
273 lb
(124 kg)
35 in
(0.89 m)
11.2 in
(0.28 m)
4.66 s 1.71 s 2.79 s 4.56 s 34.5 in
(0.88 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
16 reps
All values from Baylor pro day.[4]

Although he had not played a down of football since middle school as a 13-year-old,[5] Gathers informed Baylor head coach Art Briles that he would be joining the Bears football team for the 2016 season.[6] However, he later decided to forgo playing for Baylor and entered the 2016 NFL draft after the Baylor men's basketball team lost in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament to Yale.[5]

Dallas CowboysEdit

Gathers was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round (217th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft,[7] based on the potential he showed during his pre-draft workout.[8] In rookie minicamp the team considered playing him at defensive end, but decided to keep him at tight end instead. On September 3, he was released and was signed to the practice squad the next day.[9][10] He signed a reserve/future contract on January 17, 2017.[11]

After a strong training camp and preseason, Gathers made the Cowboys' initial 53-man roster in 2017. However, he suffered a concussion in the preseason, and was placed on the injured reserve on September 4, which made him eligible to return in week 8 at the earliest.[12] Despite practicing with the squad since week 9, after week 13, he was shut down for the season.[13] It was later revealed that he also suffered jaw and neck injuries as well.[14]

In 2018, the Cowboys kept him as the fourth tight end to avoid losing him to waivers, even though he was arrested on the eve of cuts for marijuana possession.[15]

In Week 5 of the 2018 season, he recorded his first professional catch against the Houston Texans.[16]

On June 14, 2019, it was announced that Gathers was suspended the first game of the 2019 season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse.[17] On August 5, 2019, Gathers was waived by the Cowboys.[18]

Cleveland BrownsEdit

Rico was signed by the Cleveland Browns on August 11, 2019.[19] He was placed on the reserve/suspended list on August 31, 2019.[20] He was waived by the Browns on September 10, 2019, after being reinstated from suspension.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Gathers' father is the cousin of the late Hank Gathers, an All-American and former Loyola Marymount star.[22] He is married and has a one-year-old son as of 2015.[23] During his time away from football, he self-taught himself to create, arrange and produce hip-hop music under the pseudonym Rickadonna.[24]

On August 31, 2018, he was arrested for possession of marijuana in Frisco, Texas.[25]


  1. ^ "Rico Gathers has become Baylor men's basketball rebounding machine". Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  2. ^ "Sooners' Hield Leads All-Big 12 Men's Basketball Honors". Big 12 Conference. March 8, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  3. ^ "Gathers has 25 points, 28 rebounds in No. 21 Baylor's win". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  4. ^ "Rico Gathers, DS #26 TE, Baylor". Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Jossart, Trevor (April 23, 2016). "Former Baylor forward Rico Gathers to pursue NFL career". Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  6. ^ Stack, Dan (February 29, 2016). "Baylor power forward Rico Gathers to play for football team next fall". Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  7. ^ "2016 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  8. ^ Parr, Dan (April 30, 2016). "Cowboys draft former Baylor hoops star Rico Gathers". Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  9. ^ Helman, David. "Three Former Draft Picks Among Cowboys' Cuts; McFadden Moved To NFI".
  10. ^ Helman, David (September 4, 2016). "Cowboys Sign Sanchez, Release Showers; 7 Added To Practice Squad". Archived from the original on August 15, 2017.
  11. ^ Knox, Stephen (January 17, 2017). "Dallas Cowboys sign TE Rico Gathers, WR Andy Jones to futures contracts".
  12. ^ Gantt, Darin (September 4, 2017). "Cowboys put Rico Gathers on injured reserve".
  13. ^ "Cowboys VP Stephen Jones provides latest updates on Rico Gathers and Randy Gregory". SportsDay. December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  14. ^ "Mailbag: Update On Rico Gathers' Progress? Drafting Smaller WRs?". Dallas Cowboys. January 18, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  15. ^ "The "Big Step" That Got Rico Gathers On The Roster". Dallas Cowboys. September 3, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  16. ^ "Cowboys TE Rico Gathers hauls in first career catch in first quarter of Texans game". SportsDay. October 7, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  17. ^ Reardon, Logan (June 14, 2019). "Cowboys TE Rico Gathers suspended for Week 1".
  18. ^ Eatman, Nick (August 5, 2019). "Experiment Over; Cowboys Waive TE Rico Gathers".
  19. ^ "Browns sign TE Rico Gathers". August 11, 2019.
  20. ^ "Browns cut roster to 53 players". August 31, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  21. ^ "Browns release TE Rico Gathers". September 10, 2019.
  22. ^ "Rico Gathers Bio". Retrieved April 16, 2015.
  23. ^ "Baylor basketball forward Gathers arrested on theft charge". Waco Tribune. June 10, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  24. ^ "Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Uses Music to Heal Off the Field". NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  25. ^

External linksEdit