Detroit Tigers News

College Football and the Detroit Tigers

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 16: Running Back Elijah Collins #24 of the Michigan State Spartans runs from defender Lavert Hill #24 of the Michigan Wolverines during the second half of a college football game at Michigan Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Ann Arbor, MI. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 16: Running Back Elijah Collins #24 of the Michigan State Spartans runs from defender Lavert Hill #24 of the Michigan Wolverines during the second half of a college football game at Michigan Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Ann Arbor, MI. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /
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College football has been underway for more than a month, but here in Big Ten country it’s just getting started. To celebrate its return, let’s look at some of the best college football players in Detroit Tigers history.

It’s not uncommon for elite athletes to play both college baseball and college football, but when it comes time to pick a pro sport, most seem to choose football. For every Jeff Samardzija there are a dozen players who pursue gridiron glory, like John Elway, Kyler Murray, or Patrick Mahomes.

The Detroit Tigers actually drafted Mahomes (37th round, 2014) but he didn’t sign, and instead chose college football. That was probably wise, given how he now literally owns part of the Kansas City Royals (the best the Tigers could offer was figurative ownership of the Royals).

Rogelio pointed to the 1990 MLB draft, when the Detroit Tigers took both USC quarterback Rodney Peete, and future Penn State QB Kerry Collins. The Orioles and Rockies both drafted Russell Wilson. The Rangers drafted Jameis Winston. So teams do try to lure these kids to pro baseball, but the pull of college football (or pro football) often proves too much.

But there are exceptions! And below we’ve listed five players who enjoyed both college football greatness and MLB success.

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