Mississippi State recruit Cord Sandberg (Bradenton, Fl. Manatee) signed his letter of intent on national signing day Wednesday, but while that is the end of many prospects recruitment, that is not the case for the two-sport star who projects as a high pick in June’s MLB draft.
Sandberg projects as a second or third round pick in the draft and the center fielder is said to pursue a professional baseball career if he is indeed selected that high rather than compete for a starting quarterback position after Tyler Russell finishes his senior season in 2013. Playing both sports in college isn’t an option for him.
Sandberg tells the Clarion-Ledger, “I would want to play both but I don’t want to just be OK at both and play both. If I’m not competing at a high level at both there’s no point in me balancing them.”
The four-star quarterback is one of the highest ranked quarterback recruits to ever sign with Mississippi State and the dual-threat quarterback has been referred to as “Little Tebow” by the fans that watched him account for more than 3200 yards of offense, completed 70.5% of his passes and accumulated 44 touchdowns as a senior.
Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen coached the original at Florida when he was the offensive coordinator for the Gators and helped develop Tim Tebow into a Heisman winner, two-time national champion and one of the best collegiate football players of all time. Mullen is hopeful that Sandberg chooses football because will be the perfect fit in his spread offense because of his ability to dominate the short and intermediate routes and buy time in the pocket with his feet.
But will the All-State quarterback ever get the chance to step onto the gridiron as a collegian?
Sandberg’s senior season begins this week and one scout thinks he can develop into a hitter with plus power potential and be an above-average defender in center field and raves about his hustle, competitiveness and athleticism.
That sounds like a high draft pick to me, but will some teams be scared to draft him because of his commitment to play college football?
For instance, if Sandberg gets drafted by a team that he doesn’t want to play for or a team that doesn’t offer him a fair contract he could elect to turn go to college and that team would lose the money allocated to that draft slot, essentially you’re rolling the dice when you draft him and hoping he picks the money over football.
I hate to say it’s a tough spot Sandberg finds himself in. Both options are blessings that not many will ever find themselves in a position where MLB and playing football in the SEC are the choices, but Mullen and Mississippi State will have to wait until after the draft to see where Sandberg is selected.
If I was in his shoes I would find it incredibly hard to turn down guaranteed money to play a sport that could be my best sport and not have to take shots from SEC linebackers in the process. If the baseball career doesn’t work, then I can follow the path of Chris Weinke, Brandon Weeden and Russell Wilson as quarterbacks who put an end to their minor league baseball careers for a shot to compete on the football field.
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