Jake Matthews had always wanted the chance to play professional baseball. But even as the week arrived for the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft he knew his heart was tugging him in a different direction.
Football his first love was calling and an opportunity to stay home and play at the University of Arizona was just too good to pass up.
So after the Kansas City Royals made him their 38th round pick on Saturday, he promptly said no thanks to baseball and told Wildcats football coach Rich Rodriguez he was going to accept his offer to be a preferred walk-on.
The Ironwood Ridge grad turned down scholarship offers in football from all three of the U.S. Military Academies and baseball chances at up to nine schools.
Matthews will play outside linebacker at Arizona and hopes to work his way on to the field under 2nd year defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel.
He also plans to tackle the even tougher assignment of majoring in Pre Med.
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