January 19, 2007

Mainieri anticipates Samardzija's rapid rise

Faced with a lucrative career in either baseball or football, Jeff Samardzija sat in the catbird's seat.

He could choose one or the other.

But not both.

Reality overtook Samardzija's dream scenario with spring training less than a month away and the NFL draft a few months down the road.

"I think he was interested in playing both, but after hearing about how it was virtually impossible, he realized it would hurt him in the (NFL) draft," said LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, who coached Samardzija at Notre Dame from 2004-06.

"I think both people (from football and baseball) forced his hand."


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