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Thursday, July 4, 2013
Updated: July 16, 5:01 PM ET
Jeff Driskel committed to football

By Michael DiRocco
GatorNation

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel now has a fallback if football doesn't work out.

The 6-foot-4, 237-pound junior has signed a professional contract with the Boston Red Sox, who drafted him in the 29th round last month. Joining the Red Sox, however, seems to be an afterthought because Driskel said he's a football player first.

"Yes, I signed with the Red Sox. Nothing changes," Driskel said. "I am still a full-time student athlete at UF, fully committed to football. After my college career is over I want to pursue a professional career in the NFL.

"If I ever decide I want to play baseball, I want to play with the Boston Red Sox, who drafted me in the recent draft."

Driskel, an outfielder, hasn't played baseball since he was a senior at Oviedo (Fla.) Hagerty High School in 2011.

Driskel led Florida to an 11-2 record last season in his first year as its starter. He completed 156 of 245 passes for 1,646 yards and 12 touchdowns with five interceptions. He also rushed for 413 yards and four touchdowns.

NCAA rules allow athletes to sign professional contracts in baseball but still remain eligible in football as long as they do not sign endorsement deals.

This isn't the first time a Gators quarterback has signed a professional baseball contract. Doug Johnson was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 1996 but attended Florida from 1996-99. Johnson, an infielder, played two seasons in the Rays' minor league system before suffering a rotator cuff injury and committing to football full-time.