SMU offers dual-sport athlete

The Mustangs have extended an offer to Florida wide receiver/safety Ben Deluzio, who is also being recruited by a handful of schools to play baseball. At this time, Deluzio isn't sure which sport he'd rather play in college...

Baseball or football, football or baseball?

That's the tough call Ben Deluzio will have to make in the coming months.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder out of The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.) is being recruited to play two different sports for different schools.

Football-wise, Deluzio, who plays both safety and wide receiver, has one offer from SMU and has been hearing from Miami and UCF.

Baseball-wise, he holds offers from Ole Miss, UCF and Florida Atlantic and has received interest from Stanford, Arizona State, Florida, Florida State and Miami. Deluzio is a versatile player and can come in at shortstop, second base and third base.

So which sport does he like best?

"A lot of people ask me that," he said, laughing. "I would say I like them equally because during baseball season I'll say I like football more and then during football season I'll say I like baseball more."

In a perfect world, Deluzio would be able to play both in college.

"I'm trying to keep all my options open," he said. "If the opportunity were to come where I could play both sports at a good Division I school, I'd be happy to take it, but for me, I come from a really competitive family and if that opportunity [to play both] didn't come around and I'd just play one sport, I'd choose the more competitive DI scholarship."

Deluzio comes from a competitive family indeed, as his father, Don, played football at Colorado and his sister, Alexa, currently plays basketball at Florida State.

Because of his family FSU ties, Deluzio is very interested in the Seminoles.

"I've always liked Florida State so I'd probably say that's the dream school," Deluzio said. "But I'm keeping all my options open."

When ultimately choosing a school, Deluzio said he'll weigh academics, athletics and campus atmosphere all equally.

Though he won't be able to attend any junior days this spring because of baseball, Deluzio has been invited to ones at Ohio State and Minnesota.

He also said that his summers are always baseball-heavy and it'll be tough to make a lot of visits at that time, too. However, he did say that he and his family are trying to finalize the summer schedule so that he can go on visits to schools that have offered scholarships.

SMU is the only program that's offered Deluzio a football scholarship at this time. He said he chatted with Derrick Odum a couple weeks ago and had a good conversation.

"He said he'd like me to play safety and they've had some who have gone professional and had nice careers," Deluzio said. "He asked me what I thought my best quality was and I said my hands and my speed. Then he asked what I knew about SMU and I said I didn't know much, and then he said he's putting the offer on the table and that he was going to recruit a few more [safeties] and it'll be first come, first serve."

Deluzio said he told Odum that he honestly didn't know when he'd be able to give him a decision, as his summers are limited due to his club baseball schedule with his team the Orlando Scorpions.

Though Odum told Deluzio he sees him in the secondary, Deluzio prefers to play wide receiver.

"I view myself as an offensive threat more than a defensive threat," he said.

Deluzio admitted he doesn't know much about the Mustangs, but did say his father was recruited by them back in the day.

So when all is said and done, would playing football at SMU be a realistic option for Deluzio?

"For me, everything is an option and an opportunity," he said.


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