Phil Nevin had a celebrated college baseball career, leading his Cal State Fullerton team to the College World Series in 1992, and winning both the CWS Most Outstanding Player award and the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to college baseball’s best player. Nevin was then taken first overall by the Houston Astros, a decision that famously led Detroit Tigers Hall-of-Famer and Houston scout Hal Newhouser to quit, because the team ignored his advice to draft Derek Jeter.
The Astros seemingly regretted their choice, trading Nevin to Detroit for Mike Henneman in 1995 after just 18 games in a Houston uniform. Nevin didn’t do much for the Tigers over the next two seasons, and was traded twice more before finally seeing some success in San Diego. He made one All-Star team and finished with a .270 average and 208 home runs in his MLB career. Nevin is still around baseball, including several seasons managing Tigers minor-league teams. He currently serves as the third-base coach for the New York Yankees.
But Phil Nevin was also an excellent college football player. He was a kicker and a punter, sure, but he was a darn good one! He was actually named an All-American as a freshman after going 15-for-21 on field goals, including a 54-yarder. His FG accuracy took a nosedive after that, including a 7-for-19 performance in 1991, but he did average nearly 41 yards per punt. Phil Nevin remains the second-leading scorer in Call State Fullerton history…though the program disbanded in 1992.