Sullivan Explains His Decision To Drop Football

Quarterback Josh Sullivan says he will play baseball full-time and put away the football pads.

Auburn, Ala.--When new offensive coordinator Al Borges was putting his quarterbacks through their first spring training drills on Sunday, No. 2 QB Josh Sullivan was not in the group.

The redshirt sophomore from Little Rock, Ark., was a couple hundred yards northeast of the football practice pitching in relief for the baseball Tigers at Plainsman Park. After juggling football and baseball for a year and half, Sullivan has decided to concentrate on baseball.

"I met with the football coaches the last three weeks and they knew it was going to be a burden for me," Sullivan tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I didn't realize the baseball and football schedules were going to be the same. I didn't know we were going to have as many football practices on the weekends when we would be playing baseball games.

"Last year, we practiced football during the week with a few scrimmages during the weekend," Sullivan adds. "I looked at the baseball schedule and realized that I would miss something like 10 or 11 games. I have been playing a little bit more this year in baseball and I have a bigger role this year in baseball. I didn't get much work (from football) as far as leniency in schedules and it came down to where they decided I couldn¹t miss any football practices and I would have to make a decision so I decided to play baseball."

Josh Sullivan won't be wearing a football uniform this spring.

Sullivan says it was a tough decision to make, but now that he has made up his mind he feels good about the direction he is taking. "I have talked to people who are real close to me and we figured this is the right thing to do," he says. "I am happy and that is the biggest thing."

Sullivan says he hopes the decision to concentrate on one sport will make him a better baseball player. He had to miss fall baseball workouts the past two seasons and started preseason practice in January the past two years well behind his baseball teammates.

"Not having any time to play baseball in the fall and in the summers has definitely caused my baseball skills to decline," says Sullivan, who is catching, pitching and playing third base and first base for the Tigers. "I hope that doing it year around will help me pick it up again."

As a redshirt freshman in football, Sullivan played in four games and completed 20-28 passes for 213 yards with one interception and no touchdowns.

Josh Sullivan

The sophomore says the change in position coaches in football from Steve Ensminger to Borges had nothing to do with the decision. "He wasn¹t aware of the situation although he knew I was going to meet with Coach Tuberville on Sunday," Sullivan says. "When I talked to Coach Borges and told him I was going to stay with baseball only he was kind of shocked. He and all of the football coaches wished me good luck and said if things change to let him know. The football coaches are all good guys and they told me to work hard in baseball so there are no hard feelings."

Sullivan says that he will miss football in the falls, but will probably enjoy a less hectic schedule. Tuberville says a less hectic schedule should be good for the sophomore and adds that Sullivan will stay on football scholarship through this academic year. Sullivan is expected to be added to the baseball scholarship list for his junior season.

Tuberville says, "Josh Sullivan and I talked and he decided to become 100 percent baseball. Josh is a good young man. He worked very hard. We are all for what he wants to do. He has loved baseball all his life. He came here hoping to handle both, but when you get to this point it is kind of hard to juggle both acts, especially when you are a quarterback.

"Unfortunately, it got to be a mental grind academically and physically for him. He decided to go ahead and give baseball 100 percent of his attention. We are all for him and I believe he will be successful doing it."

With Sullivan out of the picture, redshirt freshmen Kelcy Luke and Brandon Cox are battling for the number two spot behind senior Jason Campbell, the returning starter. Tuberville hopes to have the No. 2 man picked after the first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday.

Sullivan says there wasn't one major reason for his decision to pick baseball, but admits he has a special love for the game and it has always been his dream to be a Major League baseball player. "Coming out of high school, baseball was my main sport," he says. "Everyday I come out I love being at the baseball park. As far as my future is concerned, I don't know which sport my future is better in. However, after talking to a lot of people and asking myself I know this is where I am supposed to be."

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