When Roscoe Crosby stepped foot onto the Clemson campus last year, his arrival was nothing short of spectacular.
After all, what do you say to a guy who just graduated high school, collected a $1.75 million signing bonus, bought a 2002 Cadillac Escalade, and plays football for one of the top programs in the south?
At 6'3 and 205 pounds, Roscoe Crosby is a football player that presents match up problems no matter who he's going up against. "He's a phenomenal athlete, one of the best I've seen here at Clemson," says wide receivers coach Rick Stockstill. "He is so dang big and strong and so fast."
With comments like that you'd think that he would have set the world on fire last season. Well in some ways he did, and in some ways he didn't.
In only his second game as a true freshman, Crosby sprained his knee on in the first offensive series against Wofford. Three weeks later, he had his nose broken in a post game celebration at Georgia Tech. One week after that, he aggravated his knee and missed an additional game against North Carolina State.
To say that things got off to a bumpy start for the USA Today first-team All-American from Union would be quite an understatement. It was tough, but he fought through the hard times to finish the year on a high note.
Roscoe ended the regular season finale against Duke with six catches, for 139 yards and two TDs, and he followed that up with 4 more receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown against Louisiana Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl.
In fact, over the Tigers' last six games, Crosby registered 23 catches for 392 yards and four touchdowns, which tied for the team lead. And although he finished his first year with 27 receptions for 465 yards and 4 touchdowns, there is still is one important thought lingering in his mind.
"It really is a bad feeling losing to South Carolina," Crosby said after Clemson's 20-15 defeat in Columbia.
And how will that effect his decision on whether to return his sophomore season to Clemson?
"It will help me out a lot, because with me, it was between the baseball and the football situation. This (the loss) most definitely has me thinking about really coming back to play college football, because you never want to leave with a bitter taste in your mouth," said Crosby.
"I like the college football thing," he said, "and I haven't had a chance to see how the baseball thing goes. Hopefully I'll enjoy that as well."
Crosby was held out of most of spring practice due the structuring his contract with the Royals. He is currently in Florida with the Gulf Coast Royals, the Rookie league team for Kansas City.
Crosby is set to return to Clemson on August 1st for the start of fall practice. That is, if he decides to come back. Based on that schedule, he'll have about 3 months to figure out a decision that will likely affect the rest of his life.
Tommy Bowden is hoping that the long bus rides and strange hotel rooms will help Roscoe decide in favor of the Tigers. "I don't know. I hope he does come back. His mother wants him back bad," said Bowden at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium last week.
In all likelihood, it could very well come down to how Crosby performs on the diamond this summer, and most scouts agree that it's difficult to excel playing two sports at one time.
"Very few baseball players have excelled while they've tried to combine a second sport. Crosby will be no exception. His raw talent is unmistakable, but he needs to play baseball full-time to realize his potential," said Baseball America editor Allan Simpson.
Certainly, Crosby has a tough decision ahead of him, but in the end, I bet it will be hard to compare the thrill of a full-capacity crowd at Death Valley with a few hundred fans in Tupelo, Mississippi.
I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Crosby's Decision Still a Mystery
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