Baseball Players Won Major Awards & A National Title On The Gridirion In 2009
Here’s a look at how a few college baseball/football players and their teams fared in recent bowl game action:
Zach Collaros-Quarterback-Cincinnati Bearcats
Collaros started four straight games under center after starting QB Tony Pike went down with injury. He helped keep Cincy unbeaten and still made cameo appearances in the Bearcat’s last two regular season games after Pike returned. The sophomore totaled 1,434 yards with 10 TDs and just two interceptions, while running for four more scores. He did not play in Cincinnati’s 51-24 Sugar Bowl
loss to Florida. Collaros hit .204 in 49 at-bats for the UC baseball team in 2009.
Toby Gerhart-Running Back-Stanford
Gerhart had a monster year on the gridiron in 2009. He won the Doak Walker Award and finished 28 points behind Alabama’s Mark Ingram in the closest Heisman Trophy race ever. Gerhart led the NCAA with 1,871 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns during his senior season. The 6’1-235 lb. back rushed for 3,522 yards and a Pac-10 record 43 TDs in his career. Gerhart totaled 135 yards and 2 touchdowns in Stanford’s 31-27 Sun Bowl loss to Oklahoma.
He played for three seasons on the Stanford baseball team, and he started each of the Cardinal’s 2008 College World Series games.
Gerhart could exercise a fifth year of football eligibility (he missed most of 2007 with a knee injury) and he still has a final season of baseball eligibility remaining. However, he is expected to forego those options to prepare for February’s NFL combine and, ultimately, April’s NFL draft.
After helping the LSU baseball team win the 2009 College World Series, Jones started all 13 games at safety for the Tiger football team. Jones’ 74 tackles were the fifth-most by an LSU player this season. He also returned punts in five differeent games in 2009, including an 87-yarder for a touchdown in a win over Mississippi State. He had 6 tackles in LSU’s Capitol One Bowl loss to Penn State.
Jones, an outfielder converted to pitcher in ’09, had a 2.70 ERA in 9 relief appearances last season.
Parker passed for 2,526 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his first season as Clemson’s starting quarterback this season. He threw for 141 yards and a TD in the Tiger’s 21-13 win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.
Parker is entering his third season with the Clemson baseball team in 2010 (he graduated high school a semester early to enroll at Clemson in January 2008). He batted .255 with 12 HR and 52 RBIs last season.
Dave Shinskie-Quarterback-Boston College
Shinskie is not a college baseball player, but he is an interesting two sport athlete. Shinskie is a 25-year-old freshman who is starting at quarterback for the BC football team. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins, and he finished his minor league baseball career in 2009 in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Shinskie passed or 2,049 yards with 15 touchdowns and 14 int. in 2009. He threw for 218 yards with a TD and an int. in BC’s 24-13 Emerald Bowl loss to USC. He is not eligible to play for the Boston College baseball team.
Matt Szczur-Wide Receiver-Villanova
Szczur helped lead Villanova to the 2009 FCS National Championship. He
totaled 227 yards from scrimmage in VU’s 23-21 win over Montana in the title game in December. Szczur ran for 159 yards and had 4 catches for 68 more yards. He was named both the CAA’s Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year this season. He ran for 810 yards and 10 touchdowns, passed for 22 yards and 2 TDs, averaged 27.2 yards on 30 kickoff returns, and had 51 catches for 610 yards and 4 more TDs in 2009.
Szczur led the Wildcat baseball team with a .346 average last spring after missing his freshman baseball season due to injury.
Golden Tate-Wide Receiver-Notre Dame
Tate was the 2009 Biletnikoff Award winner after finishing fourth in the nation with 1,496 receiving yards and 15 TD grabs. He also ran for two touchdowns and returned a punt for another score. In December he declared himself for April’s NFL Draft. The Irish finished the season with a 6-6 record this season, but opted not to play in a bowl game.
Tate had a .318 career batting average in 63 starts in his two-year baseball career with the Irish. He still has two years of baseball eligibility remaining, but he does not plan to play for the Notre Dame baseball team in 2010.