Football Comes First?

Clemson quarterback C.J. Gaddis is trying his hand in the outfield this year for the Tiger baseball team, yet at the same time, he also plans on participating in spring practice this March with the football team. How is his schedule shaping up? We've got all the details inside.

We all knew that C.J. Gaddis was a talented athlete coming out of Hoke County High School in Raeford, North Carolina last year.

We just didn't know that he was this talented.

The redshirt freshman, who has been penciled in by many analysts as the back-up quarterback to Charlie Whitehurst this year, is now positioning himself to make a run as a starting outfielder for the Clemson baseball team.

Tuesday, Gaddis made his debut at Doug Kingsmore Stadium when the Tigers took on Charlotte to open the 2004 regular season.

Well sort of.

He went through warm-ups and was active between innings, but Coach Leggett never called his number to get into the game.

"They want me to play somewhere in the outfield," said Gaddis after the 5-4 loss to Charlotte. "They could put me anywhere out there, it just depends on who's out or who's in. I thought I was going to get in there tonight, but obviously that didn't happen. It should be soon though."

Gaddis is undoubtedly one of the busiest men on campus these days. Not only he is going through daily grind of a baseball season, he's also knee deep in offseason workouts for the football team.

And of course, that leads to the question on everyone's mind heading into spring practice. Will he miss enough practice to hurt his chances competing will Will Proctor for back-up quarterback responsibilities?

He doesn't think so.

"I'm probably going to miss some practice, but I'm probably going to miss some baseball games too," said Gaddis. "That could change though because a lot of this will depend on Coach Bowden. He's paying the bills, and football is my priority. If they clash, I'm going to have to go with football."

Gaddis also says that he's done everything that the rest of the team has done this offseason, including attending all workouts and conditioning/speed drills.

"I've doing everything with the (football) team up until right now, so I'm not behind on anything just yet. The only time I could fall behind some is when we start spring practice."

As for Tuesday's loss to Charlotte, Gaddis gives the 49ers credit for coming into "The Doug" ready to play.

"Those guys were scrappy," said C.J. "They are a good, solid team. We didn't give them anything out there so you've got to give them credit. You've got to play well every game if you want to win. That's the game of baseball."

So with less than two weeks until the start of spring practice, not only will he have to work on fielding fly balls, preparing for his first action on the diamond, he'll also be working on his skills as a quarterback.

"I don't mind," added Gaddis. "It's a burden I put on myself, so I'm prepared for it. This is something I've wanted to do."

We'll find out in a few months whether or not all that preparation has paid off. Top Stories