All-Star pitcher Jeff Samardzija thought he might be a New England Patriot
|07.15.14 at 3:29 pm ET|
MINNEAPOLIS — It’s worked out pretty well for Athletics pitcher Jeff Samardzija.
The All-Star righty — who was just recently traded from his first professional team, the Cubs — has carved a nice seven-year big league career to date, currently totaling a 2.78 ERA in 19 starts this season.
But, as he recalled, the path could have very easily led him to Foxboro instead of Wrigley.
Samardzija was a highly-touted two-sport athlete at Notre Dame, playing wide receiver for the Irish along with his stint as a pitcher for the school’s baseball team. He was so good that most viewed the 6-foot-5 wideout as a first-round pick in the 2007 NFL draft if he chose to go that route.
With the connection of former Patriots offensive coordinator/then-Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis, some dots were being connected as the ’06 college season wound down.
“Well, Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots for their Super Bowl runs for a number of years, so he just brought the whole Patriots offense to Notre Dame and we started running that for a couple of years,” Samardzjia said. “Where I was projected to go in the draft was a little earlier than where the Patriots were picking, obviously their perennial 30, 31, 32 pick. I was hoping to be a little before that.
“The word from coach and other guys was that they were going to try and trade up to try and get me based on the fact it would be a seamless transition into their offense considering I already ran it. That was about all I heard, but obviously it never got to that point.”
Having been drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round of the ’06 MLB draft, resulting in a five-year deal with Chicago, Samardzija told every NFL team not to bother drafting him in ’07. The result was a solid career in baseball, and the Patriots picking Brandon Meriweather with the 24th overall selection.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Betts Has Real Chance of Crashing AL MVP Party
- MLB Betting Preview: Red Sox vs. Orioles Odds, Analysis
- David Ortiz Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star's Foot
- Can Benintendi Be Pennant Race Difference-Maker?
- Updates on Red Sox Star Hanley Ramirez's Injury
- Andrew Benintendi Recalled from Double-a
- Fernando Abad to Red Sox
- Cup of Coffee: Groome impresses while Johnson falters
- Cup of Coffee: Dubon collects five hits, Chatham belts two homers
- Cup of Coffee: Dubon comes up clutch, Dalbec stays hot for Lowell
- Scouting Scratch: Mike Shawaryn and Shaun Anderson
- Cup of Coffee: LaMarre powers Pawtucket, Kopech whiffs 10
- After draft slide, Shawaryn regaining peak form in Lowell
- Cup of Coffee: Moncada shows off power and defense as he eyes the big leagues
- 2014 First-rounder Michael Chavis promoted to High A Salem
- Cup of Coffee: Jason Groome era begins with two scoreless innings
- Weekly Notes: Groome debuts, Kopech and Dalbec stay hot