Gator Dickey gives up football, will focus on baseball

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida two-sport athlete Gavin Dickey has given up football to concentrate on baseball.

Dickey spent the last two years playing both for the Gators. He was a backup quarterback and receiver on the football team and played outfield for the baseball team.

"Right now, I've just decided that it would be best if I focused on one sport coming up in the spring," Dickey said Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to that. I haven't had that opportunity yet, so I'm looking forward to the strides I can make coming up to this season."

Dickey started his Florida career as a quarterback, playing two seasons behind starter Chris Leak and completing 11-of-15 passes for 127 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He moved to receiver last fall and caught one pass for 12 yards.

He also lined up at running back and receiver in previous years and returned kickoffs but was unable to find a starting role.

He was more productive playing baseball. Dickey sat out the 2003 season but hit .273 in 34 games in 2004 and then became a full-time starter last season. He hit .292 with three home runs and 20 RBI, started every postseason game in left field and helped the Gators reach the College World Series for the fifth time in school history. They finished runner-up to Texas.

"I felt I have a lot more potential in baseball," said Dickey, a 5-foot-10 junior. "I've done everything I could possibly try to do to get better as a football player. I've invested hours and hours and hours, and I feel that I may have reached my peak with that sport. In baseball, I feel that the ceiling is higher and I have a lot more room to grow."