Yet another athlete is looking to follow in the football footsteps of Chris Weinke and Brandon Weeden.
Cord Sandberg signed with Mississippi State as a four-star member of the Bulldogs’ 2013 recruiting class. However, after being selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the third round of the Major League Baseball Draft later that year, he opted to ditch college football in favor of a professional baseball contract that included a $775,000 signing bonus.
After six seasons in the minors, and never advancing higher than what was essentially a two-year stint at the Double-A level, the 23-year-old Sandberg announced this week that he had decided to retire from baseball. Simultaneously, the former standout quarterback confirmed to the Reading Eagle that he will attempt to restart his football career at the collegiate level.
“If I stuck with baseball, there was that potential for what if,” Sandberg told the Eagle. “I know with this I gave everything I have to baseball. It came time for a decision to move forward with another sport.”
The interest is already there from Power Five programs in another sport as, per Sandberg, he has received a scholarship offer from Auburn and a pair of offers to be a preferred walk-on at two other SEC schools — Florida and LSU. The Gators are coached by Dan Mullen, who was the head coach with the Bulldogs when Sandberg signed with MSU in the winter of 2013.
Sandberg plans on picking a school in relatively short order so that he can enroll in classes no later than Aug. 20. The newspaper writes that “Sandberg figures he’ll use the upcoming season to get reacquainted with being under center with an eye toward playing the following year.”
In other words, Sandberg would use 2018 as a redshirt season wherever he lands, and would then have four years of eligibility at his disposal moving forward.
Coming out of high school in Bradenton, Fla., Sandberg was rated as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the country. Only three signees in MSU’s class that year were rated higher than Sandberg — defensive end Chris Jones, safety Ashton Shumpert and wide receiver Fred Ross.
In nearly 500 games at the minor league level, Sandberg, a center fielder, was a career .243 hitter with 29 home runs and 173 RBI. He finishes with a slash line of .243/.298/.348.