It feels like we're heard this before. Oh wait, we have.
Former Stanford quarterback Evan Crower contributed to the school's rich history of two-sport athletes, inking a minor-league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Crower adds to the list of Stanford football players to try their hand at the pro game in recent history, one that includes former running back Tyler Gaffney and safety Zach Hoffpauir.
After heading to Palm Springs' California Winter League (CWL) to work out with the team earlier in the week, Crower signed the deal after his first day of try-outs, the quickest anyone in the league has agreed to a deal. "It's crazy," the former quarterback said. "I'm very excited for the opportunity....and [to] start the grind."
The CWL is a league for aspiring players to try to earn spring training spots -- it appears Crower will not play in its games, but instead will report to Phillies' spring training in Clearwater, Florida this February.
Evidently, Crower flashed a lot of potential, with a 6'5", 216 pound frame that screams pitcher -- it doesn't hurt that he's left-handed, either. He's reportedly been making scouts drool with a healty mid-90's fastball from the left side, a rare commodity in today's game.
Despite the fact that he had planned to play both sports on The Farm, Crower never actually played baseball for the Cardinal, opting to play football and wait his turn behind the likes of Andrew Luck and Kevin Hogan. The signal-caller out of San Diego, California played well in the few opportunities he got in mop-up roles, completing 25 of his 42 pass attempts for 324 yards and three touchdowns.
When asked what made him ultimately make the jump to baseball, Crower said, "I've always wanted to be a baseball player growing up. I was going into Stanford playing both sports and it just didn't work out. I was going to head somewhere else for my fifth year, and just decided to pick up the baseball and start throwing again after I graduated. Then I got the opportunity to come out here to show my talent and what I can do. Fortunately enough I was seen, and right now I'm just really excited."
For those wondering if Crower could eventually "pull a Gaffney" and return to Stanford's football program, it does appear he has one final year of eligibility remaining -- he redshirted his freshman season, and graduated after playing just three more seasons before calling it quits before the 2015 football season. Stuck behind Hogan, Crower had weighed his opportunities to work out a graduate transfer, possibly to Michigan, but ultimately decided to hang up the spikes -- the football ones, at least.
If he does want to "pull a Gaffney" and enroll in graduate school to play another year of football, he might have to wait a few years -- Keller Chryst appears poised to be the next great Stanford quarterback, with blue-chip recruit Ryan Burns nipping at his heels.