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Mississippi State's Elijah Staley to Focus only on Football, Quits Basketball

The 6'7" Staley will now only participate on the football team.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Mississippi State's Elijah Staley has decided to focus solely on his football career and his opportunity to battle for the quarterback position according to an announcement from the school on Monday.

Staley, who had played both football and basketball during his time in Starkville, had only been used sparingly by the basketball team this season, picking up one point and one rebound in eight minutes of play during two games this season after he joined the squad in December.

Staley, along with Nick Fitzgerald, is expected to battle as a front-runner for the quarterback position at Mississippi State following the graduation of Dak Prescott.  Nick Tiano and Damian Williams could be part of that battle as well.

With this decision, Staley will no longer be part of the basketball team.

One of the factors that pulled Staley to Starkville was the opportunity to be a two-sport athlete.

"I'm appreciative of his efforts and how he helped us in practice," said MSU coach Ben Howland, whose team travels to Florida next for a 6 p.m. showdown Tuesday on ESPNU. "He really wants to battle for that starting position at quarterback. We wish him well and appreciate his contributions while he was a part of the team."