Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel isn’t the first college football player to sign with a Major League Baseball organization, but he is the latest.
Alex Speier of WEEI first reported Wednesday evening that Driskel has signed with the Boston Red Sox, who drafted him in the 29th round last month. Signing the junior was a bit of a surprising move as Driskel hasn’t played competitive baseball since high school, but the organization did secure his rights should there come a point if Driskel chooses baseball over football.
But it doesn’t look like Driskel will. In a statement Thursday, the Gators quarterback insisted he would sick with football.
“I plan on focusing on football and finishing my college career with the Gators,” Driskel said. “After my college football career is over I want to pursue a professional career in the NFL. If I ever decide I want to play baseball, I want to play with the Boston Red Sox who drafted me in the recent draft.”
NCAA rules allow athletes to sign MLB contracts while remaining eligible in football so long as the athlete doesn’t sign an endorsement deal. Theoretically, Driskel could play for the Red Sox and return to the football field for Florida this fall. It just doesn’t sound like that’s going to be the case.
Michigan State has become a national power under the coaching of Mark Dantonio. The grizzled and confident coach has put together a master plan in East Lansing and has taken the Spartans to the top of the Big Ten along the way, capturing a Big Ten title and victories in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl as well as in-state dominance over the Michigan Wolverines. Danotnio is preparing his Spartans to take on the Wolverines this week, but with the new vacancy opening up at South Carolina following the sudden retirement of Steve Spurrier, Dantonio has already been presented with the question about his thoughts on coaching at South Carolina.
He did not seem all that interested in discussing the vacancy when meeting with Michigan State media this morning.
“Coach Spurrier’s had an outstanding career there, it’s alma mater, and we’re here to talk about Michigan,” Dantonio said when asked about it today. Video below from the Big Ten Network…
Dantonio played defensive back for the Gamecocks in the mid 1970s, which helps make Dantonio an interesting name to mention in any coaching future discussion out of Columbia. While Dantonio may have played at South Carolina for Jim Carlen, Dantonio grew up in Ohio and has coached the bulk of his career within Ohio and the Big Ten. He is also one win away from picking up his 100th career coaching victory, 81 of which have come at Michigan State.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is stepping down as head coach of the Gamecocks, and that has the college football world reflecting on the impact he has had on the game of college football. Spurrier’s quips at rivals and revolutionary thoughts on where the sport has been heading were always on the mark, even when his team’s performance on the field was not.
Dan Patrick shared his reaction to the news of Spurrier retiring today on The Dan Patrick Show (simulcast on NBC Sports Network). As many have already suggested, Spurrier’s wit and charm brought a refreshing personality to the SEC.