Florida's Jeff Driskel is focused on football despite signing a baseball contract. Photo: USA Today Sports
The Florida Gators could be in the hunt for an SEC championship this upcoming season. Junior quarterback Jeff Driskel figures to be one of the key ingredients to success this season in Gainesville of course after leading the Gators offense with 1,646 passing yards and 12 touchdowns last season, which ended with the Gators making an appearance in the Sugar Bowl. Driskel remains focused on football but will be keeping his future professional sports career options open. As confirmed by the Associated Press, Driskel has signed a contract with baseball's Boston Red Sox.
Driskel says in a statement, ''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.''
The Red Sox drafted Driskel in the 29th round of the recent MLB Amateur Draft despite the fact he has not played a game since high school. When he was recruited by Florida, Driskel made it known he wanted to attempt to play baseball as well. As The Gainesville Sun reported back in 2010, former Gators football players Riley Cooper and Gavin Dickey attempted to play both sports in Gainesville but neither finished their collegiate careers playing both.
“I’m there for football," Driskel said in 2010. "I’m not going to hide that fact. If it’s not going to be too hard (to play both baseball and football) I’m going to at least try it and see how it goes, but I’m there to play football.”
The Red Sox have been known to draft a college football player or two in recent years. Last year the Red Sox drafted Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson and Arizona State linebacker Brandon Magee. Magee went on to join the Dallas Cowboys while Thompson is playing in the Red Sox farm system. Thompson had a rough start in minor league baseball and recently announced he will pursue football full time.
We'll see where Driskel goes from here, but football appears to be the priority. Florida fans may not have much to worry about when it comes to quarterback depth. But if something should lead to Driskel's football future being slammed shut, baseball will be there waiting.