“I've always wanted to do two sports. My role model has always been Bo Jackson … I've always just wanted to play two sports since when I was a kid. “Now that I have offers from [Florida] to play both baseball and football, I just feel great. It was in ...
When Brandon Fields and Stephen Dix saw Dr. Phillips High running backs coach Riki Smith walk in the locker room on Tuesday with Florida head coach Jim McElwain and receivers coach Kerry Dixon, Fields said they both “started cheezin.”
Smith would eventually relay the news to the two 2020 prospects that the Gators wanted both of them and their cheezy grins would get even bigger knowing they had football scholarship offers from the Florida Gators.
“They walked in and me and Stephen were like, ‘Oh snap, that’s Florida,’ ” said Fields, who had already been offered a scholarship to play baseball at Florida, so the football offer put him a huge step closer toward realizing a childhood dream.
He wants to play both baseball and football at the major-college level and for Florida looks to be willing to afford him the opportunity.
“It feels great. I was glad to see some love from Florida,” Fields said. “I’ve always wanted to do two sports. My role model has always been Bo Jackson … I’ve always just wanted to play two sports since when I was a kid.
“Now that I have offers from [Florida] to play both baseball and football, I just feel great. It was in the back of my head and I was like, ‘When is it gonna come, when is it gonna come.’”
Fields’ first baseball scholarship offer came from Miami when he was in eighth grade.
His high school baseball career got off to a great start last year before he broke his wrist during the district championship game. As a freshman he hit .347 (28-of-81) and had 20 RBI, four doubles, a triple and scored 18 runs.
The injury kept him off the football field during the spring, but he’s having a fine sophomore season, backing up senior running back Devodney Alford.
In seven games, Fields, a 5-11, 195-pounder, has 121 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries, an average of nearly five yards per carry. He also has football scholarship offers from UCLA, Vanderbilt and FAU.
He knows it will be difficult to play both sports in college, but he’s willing to make the sacrifices.
“I think it will be very hard, actually, but with hard work and dedication I think I can do it,” Fields said. “During football season I’m strictly football, but on the side, I like to take batting practice with my dad and I’ve always just been able to work out with him.
“And then when I’m in baseball season I’ll also be training by lifting hard and stuff like that.”
For now he’s willing to wait his turn on the football field behind Alford, who leads DP with nearly 700 yards and five touchdowns on 95 carries in seven games.
“Devodney has been a big part in my DP career. When I came in as a freshman … I was always talking to him with him being a junior,” Fields said. “Now, I’m able to be with him like 24/7 because I’m his understudy, so he’s always coaching me up.”
Chris Hays covers college football recruiting, as well as college and high school football for the Sentinel. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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