It isn't easy to play two sports in college, but if anyone is capable of doing it - and having success -- it might be Anthony Alford.
"I know he can," said Steve Buckley, Alford's football coach at Petal, Miss.
As a quarterback, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Alford is a member of the Rivals250 watch list for 2012 and was the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year after accumulating 2,652 yards of offense and 35 touchdowns in 2010.
And that might not be his best sport.
Wrote RebelGrove.com, "He's also Mississippi's top baseball prospect for his class. An outfielder with plus speed (6.40-second 60-yard dash, per Alford) and tools, Alford could be a very early pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball first-year player draft, according to projections."
According to Buckley, Alford hopes to play both sports in college.
That, his coach knows, would be quite a task.
"It's hard enough to do with a defensive back or a receiver," Buckley said. "It's probably twice as hard for a quarterback to do that. But he says wherever he goes, he's got to have a chance to do that. Without a doubt he could play both in college. There are few kids who could make that work, that have the makeup to do both. But he has the mentality to play both."
Mississippi, Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi have offered Alford for football, Buckley said. National power LSU is among those that have offered for baseball.
"He's getting recruited by everybody and they all love him," Buckley said. "It's just a matter of time before they all offer. If there's another quarterback in America who is better, I want to see him. The thing is, these colleges don't want to put all their eggs in one basket, and then the kid signs a pro contract [for baseball]. They're all getting to know him a little bit. That's the main thing right now."
Alford recently attended junior day at Mississippi, but because of baseball season he is booked solid throughout the spring and won't get in any visits.
"I told all the coaches and they understand that," Buckley said. "He's part of a great baseball program and can't leave the team for a weekend."
Alford split time with another player at quarterback as a freshman, then took over full time there in 2009. As a junior, he led his team to an 11-2 record and a district title.
"He's a special athlete and a special person," Buckley said. "He's a cross between Cam Newton and Michael Vick at quarterback. He's that good. Anthony wants the ball in his hands when it's crunch time, and all great competitors want that."
Alford's success at quarterback has come despite the fact he has missed spring practice every year because it conflicts with baseball season.
"He's never had a spring training," Buckley said. "When baseball ends in July, we start to throw and he catches up quick."