May 5, 2009

Offers pouring in for two-sport standout

Delino Deshields came back from a two-game suspension earlier this baseball season with a vengeance, hitting eight home runs and leading his team into the Georgia state playoffs, which begin Friday.

The College Park (Woodward Academy), Ga., athlete had to sit a couple of games after being thrown out of a game for walking back to the dugout after a strikeout. Since his return, his stock on the diamond _ already high _ has jumped.

Still, despite the very real threat Major League Baseball poses next summer, college football coaches are turning out in droves to see Deshields, who projects as a running back, wide receiver or defensive back at the Division I level on the gridiron.

"Everything is going good," Deshields said Monday night. "Purdue and Oregon came by today. Florida State came last Friday to come check us out."

Deshields, the son of former major leaguer Delino Deshields, has football scholarship offers from Connecticut, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Central Florida and Stanford. Purdue, Deshields said, indicated recently that an offer was forthcoming for he and teammates Henry Anderson and Juwan Thompson.

"Everybody is in it," Deshields said. "UCF said they have a real nice campus and an up-and-coming program, but I want to see if for myself. I'm going to go see Ole Miss sooner or later, probably after my baseball season, on a weekend when I have some time."

Therein lies the problem for Deshields, who has a busy summer planned. Deshields will be out of town with his family in June before beginning a tournament schedule in July.

"After last tournament in July, flying to California for AFLAC All-American Game and a couple of other all-star games," Deshields said. "I probably won't be able to do anything this summer."

Deshields, a 5-foot-9, 190-pounder with 4.45-second speed in the 40-yard dash, is expected to easily meet NCAA initial-qualifier requirements. His father played professionally for the Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. He works as a minor league instructor for the Cincinnati Reds organization.

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