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Blog Entry

Szczur picks MLB's guaranteed $ over NFL chances

Posted on: January 19, 2011 12:35 pm
 
Matt Szczur's football career is apparently over.

The Villanova star, who had agreed to play in next week's Senior Bowl in the hopes of impressing NFL scouts, instead decided the guaranteed dollars of Major League Baseball was too much to pass up , according to an article by Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Szczur (pronounced "See-zer") was drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs and played in the Cubs' minor league system this summer.  Upon signing a contract with the team, Szczur was given $100,000 and promised an additional $500,000 if he committed to the Cubs and shunned the NFL prior to next month's Scouting Combine.

Szczur wanted to explore his NFL options, turning down the 500,000 bonus. When the Cubs tripled their offer Tuesday, however, Szczur took the 1.5 million dollars and turned his attention to back to baseball.

Szczur had been a standout football and baseball player for the Wildcats throughout his entire career. A 2009 consensus All-American and the Colonial Athletic Conference Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year, Szczur is perhaps the most widely accomplished "small school" prospect in the country. As such, it wasn't a huge surprise when the Senior Bowl made him (and teammate, offensive tackle Ben Ijalana) an early invites to the prestigious all-star game.

Szczur struggled with injuries early in the 2010 season, but was his typically spectacular self down the stretch, earning my Diamond in the Rough honors after a particularly impressive performance against Stephen F. Austin in the FCS playoffs.

An outfielder with great speed and live bat, he played at three levels in the Cubs organization last summer, batting .347 with a .414 on-base percentage and a .465 slugging percentage in 25 total games.

As part of the agreement, Szczur will not play in the Senior Bowl or participate in the Combine.

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