The MLB draft starting Jun. 6 is going to have ripple effects into the SEC where Mississippi State and Texas A&M could see two of their top recruits, Cord Sandberg and Kohl Stewart, drafted early and therefore bypass an opportunity to play college football.
The Bulldogs and Aggies have been well aware of each quarterback’s exploits on the diamond and have known that the possibility existed that the prized signal-callers could never enroll, but the gamble was worth it considering their talents on the football field.
Sandberg was one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation who could be the heir apparent to Tyler Russell. He is projected to slip out of the first round and if that happens it is anticipated he will come to Starkville where he will play both sports. According to cowbellclang.com, “There is not any other place I would rather play and have my college experience then Starkville. I want to play both.”
I think Sandberg will get taken around the 50-75 pick range and will decide to come to Mississippi State to play for Dan Mullen as well as MSU’s baseball coach, John Cohen, and compete with Dak Prescott for the starting job in 2014.
Th3 6-3, 190-pound Stewart was the No. 11 ranked pro-style quarterback according to 247Sports. A year as Johnny Manziel’s understudy could mean a starting job is within reach his second year on campus, but unlike Sandberg the likelihood that he enrolls at A&M is smaller because he could be drafted inside the top five.
ESPN’s Keith Law has Stewart as the top ranked high school pitcher and fifth overall. If Stewart goes inside the top 10-20 picks I don’t see him turning down the signing bonus that comes with that slot. A&M has a contingency plan in place if Stewart never comes to College Station signing three-star dual-threat quarterback Kenny Hill and are pursuing 2014 blue-chip quarterback recruits Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz. Desert Mountain) and Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La. Parkway).
The future of both Stewart and Sandberg will have a much clearer path after the first round of the MLB Draft, and even if their path doesn’t lead them to the football field they have bright futures on the diamond. However, I think we’ll only see Sandberg in a two-sport role at MSU. Stewart is likely be in the big leagues when Sandberg is helping the Bulldogs win in the SEC as a senior.