Marty Hurney, the Washington Football Team’s executive vice president of football and player personnel, was at the University of Florida’s pro day two weeks ago when a 25-year-old who had never played organized football caught his attention. Sammis Reyes, a former college basketball player, was hard to miss. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound ex-Tulane forward ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash, posted a 40-inch vertical and looked like an elite athlete at tight end.

Afterward, Reyes’s agent, Tabetha Plummer, sent out a chart comparing Reyes’s measurables with more than 20 other NFL draft-eligible tight ends. Reyes wasn’t eligible for the draft and planned to enter the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, a league initiative placing international athletes with teams to train for a season. But Hurney saw something in Reyes, and on Tuesday morning Washington opted to sign him outright instead.

“Mr. Hurney saw the numbers, but the one thing that he also expressed was that he saw process,” Plummer said. She praised Reyes’s workout regimen and remembered how he filled notebooks last year as he studied tight ends while preparing to switch sports. “... There was something that [Hurney] saw [in Reyes]. I’m glad he did.”

It was a remarkable turn of events for Reyes. He moved from Chile to South Florida when he was 14 and had a singular focus on basketball. In 2014, as Hawaii recruited the power forward, he told, “The football coaches at my [prep] school have been asking me [to play] every year, but I love basketball too much.”

Now he’s a member of the Washington Football Team. If he were to appear in an NFL game, he would be the first Chilean-born player to do so.

Reyes hopes he can follow in the footsteps of other college basketball players who became standout NFL tight ends, such as Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates. This is the second year in a row Washington has added a developmental tight end for position coach Pete Hoener, though Reyes is significantly less experienced than even former quarterback Logan Thomas was when he signed last spring. Thomas had a breakout season in 2020 with 72 catches, 670 yards and six touchdowns.

Washington probably is not done addressing the position. Reyes is just the third tight end on the roster behind Thomas and Marcus Baugh, who bounced between the active roster and the practice squad last season. Washington also has Temarrick Hemingway on the reserve/injured list and Dylan Cantrell and Tyrone Swoopes on futures contracts.

Plummer said she believes Reyes will be able to make an impact for one reason: She knows how hard Reyes works, because when she wakes up on the West Coast, her client on the East Coast already has posted the first of his multiple workouts on Instagram.

“And it wasn’t something just for the ’gram,” she said. “It was him. . . . He knows what he wants, and he’s going to have to work hard to get it.”