I really hope Cord Sandberg is enrolled at MSU next fall. I really do. But I'm not sure it will ever make much of a difference to the football program whether he comes to State or not.
I have no idea what it's like to be a 6'-3", 210 pound two-sport star. He will probably have the greatest senior year ever as king of his high school. But there will be a decision to make next June, and that's whether he wants to: 1. play pro baseball, 2. just college football or 3. football and baseball at Mississippi State. I highly doubt there will be any pro baseball/college football Anthony Alford situations at MSU.
If he chooses option number one then MSU fans would have to hold out hope that his baseball career fizzles out and he pulls a Chris Weinke/Josh Booty/Brandon Weeden/ a handful of other players who have come back in their mid-20s to play college football. Can't really count on that happening.
If he chooses number two then I'd say Cord Sandberg will have an impact on the football program. He'd likely be at least a two year starter and a great asset to future teams. But how many times has a potential 1st round MLB draft pick chosen to play football-only? Sandberg is basically a 5-star baseball player and a 3-star football player. I would be shocked if he chose to drop baseball.
If Sandberg picks option three, which we are hoping he will, I still don't think he has that big of an impact on the football program. I think playing football and baseball can work, so that's not it. A QB doesn't typically get hit in spring practice (during baseball season), and he would probably only have to miss one SEC series a year. I'm sure he could play in home SEC series, just not road ones during spring practice. The effect on the baseball team would be pretty minimal.
As we stand right now Tyler Russell seems to have a firm grasp on QB1 for his last two years. Dak Prescott appears to be the heir apparent in 2014....the year Sandberg would most likely be a redshirt freshman. Assuming that Prescott develops as planned he should be able to take the reins as QB1 his junior and senior season. That puts Sandberg in a position to continue the tradition of Chris Relf, Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott by taking over as the starter in his redshirt junior year.
One problem - he probably won't be around to become the starting quarterback if that's the case. College baseball players are eligible for the MLB draft after three years in school - true frosh, redshirt frosh, and redshirt soph - that's three years and he's likely to be off playing professional baseball, never making an impact on Mississippi State football.
Now there's always the chance that he signs with a big league ball club, plays a summer of minor league ball and comes back for his shot at being a starting SEC quarterback. Is that what you want for the 2016 team - a QB that's been playing baseball all summer? Yeah, yeah, a long way off no doubt. But something to think about.
And if Sandberg spurns pro baseball next summer who's to say he wouldn't do it again in 2016? He could very well play four years of football and baseball at Mississippi State, then decide if he want to play pro baseball or football.
I envy the kid's abilities but I don't envy the decisions he is going to have to make over the next year.
Like I said at the beginning, I would love for Cord Sandberg to come to MSU. Even if he plays three years of baseball and a couple years as the backup quarterback - never to be the main man. It would be great for the Diamond Dawgs and State could really use the QB depth.
Whatever Cord decides the probability is our everlasting quest for an All-time QB will likely go on past the 2013 class...because of his baseball career. I hope I am dead wrong. I hope Tyler Russell shoves that in my face, Dak Prescott shoves that in my face, and Cord Sandberg shoves that in my face.