Jeff Driskel wants to try his hand at a combination that hasn’t worked out too well recently at Florida.
The Oviedo Hagerty quarterback, who became Florida’s fourth commitment of the 2011 recruiting season Monday, will attempt to juggle football and baseball when he arrives in Gainesville next spring. He’ll go from signal-caller to center fielder in mere months.
Gavin Dickey and Riley Cooper have both attempted to play both football and baseball at Florida and neither finished their Gator careers playing both. Dickey, like Driskel, played quarterback and outfield at Florida, but he never panned out in football and decided to devote his time completely to baseball. He was later drafted in the 12th round of the MLB Amateur Draft by the Seattle Mariners in 2006. Cooper played outfield and wide receiver, but only spent a couple of seasons on the baseball diamond and is expected to be drafted in the third or fourth round of this weekend’s NFL Draft.
Driskel wants to at least try his luck at both, but he’s making one thing clear — he is headed to Florida to throw the pigskin around.
“I’m there for football. I’m not going to hide that fact,” Driskel said. “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.”
Driskel said he’s spoken with coach Urban Meyer and baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan about the possibility of playing both sports. O’Sullivan welcomed him with open arms, while Meyer said the decision will be Driskel’s but he’ll definitely add his own input.
“The baseball coaches are all for it,” Driskel said. “I’m a free guy for them. They don’t have to give me any scholarship, which is big for baseball because they don’t have a lot of scholarships to work with. Coach Meyer said it was solely up to me — whatever I want to do.”