Forsakes Gridiron for Diamond

Dan Klein, the 6-3, 190-pound quarterback from Anaheim (Calif.) Servite, is forsaking scholarship offers in football, even some from Pac-10 schools, to play baseball in college. Luckily he'll bring his 90 m.p.h. fastball to UCLA...

At 6-3 and 190 pounds, and after a productive junior season, it's no surprise that Anaheim (Calif.) Servite quarterback Dan Klein has been drawing the interest of colleges around the West.

But he's telling football coaches, including some Pac-10 coaches, he's not interested.

Unless something changes, Klein will walk away from the game of football this December, satisfied with his accomplishments but set for a career in baseball.

Klein has offers to play football at California, Washington State, Utah and UNLV. Yet he has given a verbal commitment to coach John Savage to play baseball at UCLA starting in the spring of 2008.

"I'm committed to play baseball at UCLA," said Klein. "As of right now, my mind is set on baseball. I'm kind of in wait-and-see mode, and all these schools look pretty good, but I've got a good situation with UCLA in baseball."

Klein said that Cal's Jeff Tedford was the most recent to offer, which he confessed was flattering, but Klein said his future, at least for now, will stay on the diamond.

A pitcher whose fastball can reach the low 90s, Klein is considered one of the best pitching prospects in Southern California. This season he finished with a 7-1 record, and an earned-run average of 1.72. He's known for having exceptional control, walking only seven batters in 61 innings.

On the gridiron, Klein helped lead Servite to the CIF Division I semifinals, being named league co-player of the year. He finished the 2005 season 146-for-235 for 2,005 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also led Servite to one of their biggest wins in recent memory when they upset Long Beach Poly in the CIF quarterfinals, 28-20.

And despite the history of two-sport athletes in college, especially football-baseball players, Klein said he would prefer to just focus on one sport. He said, "Two sports would be real tough, especially as a quarterback. We'll see when the time comes, but I'm baseball first, football second. If I go on a baseball scholarship, I'm just going to play baseball. I'm not going to try and walk-on and play football."

Klein did say that UCLA had been writing him recruiting letters for football, but nothing serious. He is serious, however, in his desire to suit up for Savage. Klein said: "They have a real good program and it's Pac-10 baseball. I like the coaching staff a lot, like Coach Savage, Coach Shine. They've got the number three recruiting class in the country coming in. They start like five freshmen, and then they finished in second place in the Pac-10. I have a good chance to play early, the school's great, the academics are great, it's close to home. UCLA is perfect."

Because of baseball, Klein didn't participate in any spring football camps or combines this summer and he'll switch his focus back to football and passing league while trying to mix in some summer baseball.

Klein then hopes to lead the Friars farther than just the CIF semi-finals this fall on the football field, in what could be his football swan song. "I'm going to go out and try to win a CIF Championship. I look at it as that being the plan, not worrying about the future, just having fun and winning," said Klein.

Academically, Klein has a 3.4 GPA and will take the SAT this weekend.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories