Franks signs pro baseball contract

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Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks high-fives fans during Gator Walk before the start of the game against Idaho at Florida Field. [Lauren Bacho/Staff Photographer]

Florida’s Feleipe Franks has said on several occasions that he hopes to eventually develop into one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. If that doesn’t work out, he may have another avenue into professional sports.

Baseball.

Franks, a redshirt junior, has signed with the Boston Red Sox for $40,000, according to a report in the Boston Globe. This does not impact his eligibility at Florida.

Franks was drafted by the Red Sox in the 31st round with the 947 overall selection back in June. At the time, Franks said, “I’m flattered that the Red Sox picked me. However, I’m living out my dream being the quarterback of the Florida Gators. We’re all working extremely hard this offseason and I cannot wait to hit the field this fall.”

Franks was drafted by Boston as a pitching prospect. He has not pitched since his junior year in high school.

Franks apparently has no plans to pursue a professional baseball career at this time, and will continue to focus on football. But he could end up giving pro baseball a shot if his NFL dreams aren’t realized.

If he ends up playing his way into the NFL, then he may never join the Red Sox, who hold his MLB rights. He has expressed interest in coming to spring training in 2020 and pursuing a pitching career down the road.

After the draft, Franks stepped on a mound for the first time in five years and, according to sports writer Nick de la Torre of Gator Country, threw a 94 mph pitch.

Franks isn’t the first Florida quarterback drafted by a Major League team.

Doug Johnson played two years of professional baseball in the Tampa Bay system in the mid-’90s. He ended up turning his focus to football at UF and went on to have a seven-year NFL career with five different teams.

Jeff Driskel was drafted by the Red Sox in 2013, but never pursued baseball. He’s currently in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. I hope it gives fans a better appreciation for his overall athleticism. I’ve always been a fan and enjoyed seeing his progress as a QB each year. He’s always had an arm. It’s the reading of defenses, coverages and general decision-making that challenges all aspiring QBs.

    I have big expectations for Franks this season and subsequently the team. Despite questions about the offensive line, the continuity of coaching and offense will show big dividends for Franks and the Gators this season.

    In that sense, I’m rooting for the Red Sox to be disappointed in drafting Franks. The only way they’ll ever make good on that money is for Franks to play baseball. My hope is that Franks is the next QB that Dan Mullen puts int he NFL. That means a sensational year for Gator football.

  2. Something doesn’t add up. So he can legally pocket money as a drafted professional athlete while in college for doing nothing per NCAA rules?

    I am going to start some kind of professional league say for finger wrestling and sell franchises to an exclusive group of wealthy Gator fans for $1. I am thinking there will be 5 teams in the league and each team can draft 5 high school or college students per year. They can sign the draftees for any amount they choose in return for their rights after they finish college. Anyone interested?