Miami Hurricanes third baseman and short-lived quarterback David Thompson offered sage advice for high school senior Malik Rosier, who will play football for coach Al Golden in the fall of 2014 and baseball for coach Jim Morris in the spring of ’15. “Bust your butt in both sports,” advised Thompson, “and stay healthy.” Thompson, eager to begin his sophomore baseball season Friday in UM’s home opener against Maine, did the former but not the latter, which took him out of football for good last June after undergoing his second right-shoulder surgery in a one-year span. “It’s real tough to play both, especially with all the football film work you have to do in college,” said Thompson, 20, who has yet to meet Rosier, 18. “It was a dream of mine to play football here, to play quarterback here. There was no part of me that wanted to stop playing football. But sometimes God’s plans are a little different than ours.” Rosier’s two-sport dreams are still intact. “Tell those guys I say hello and I’m ready to go practice with them,” the Mobile Faith Academy sports star said during a phone interview this week with the Miami Herald. “They have a really good team.” Although Rosier still breaks down football film with his offensive coordinator, he also is preparing to make the transition from catcher to outfielder at Faith Academy to preserve his knees for the Hurricanes and provide a broader stage for his exceptional athleticism and speed. Thompson, who was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 38th round in 2012, let his already documented baseball talent shine last season as a freshman, despite playing with considerable pain. Thompson’s previously repaired torn labrum developed excess scar tissue and then slightly tore again, but the 6-2, 207-pound Miami Westminster alum still excelled during UM’s disappointing 37-25 season. He hit .286, the team’s second-highest batting average, and led the Canes with 46 RBI. A second-team Perfect Game freshman All-American, Thompson was the only power hitter — he slugged .462 — on a team that was woefully inadequate at the plate (.258) and in scoring runs (4.4 a game) for a stellar pitching staff. “David would have never quit football if he hadn’t gotten hurt,” Morris said. “The only reason he quit football is because he had his second surgery. If you can’t throw a football, you can’t play quarterback.” Rosier, who has a nearly identical 6-2, 210-pound frame to Thompson’s, also grew up, like Thompson, loving the Hurricanes — even though he grew up in Alabama. In the shotgun his past two years (after two years under center) as the quarterback for the spread offense of Faith Academy (3-7 in 2013), Rosier completed 132 of 240 passes for 1,852 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, with eight interceptions. His agility, strength and speed — he was timed at 4.46 and 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Mississippi State and Miami summer football camps — helped him in adding 1,301 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 129 carries, a 10-yards-per-carry average. He never fumbled. Rosier, a three-star recruit by most services, signed his UM football scholarship papers last Wednesday. And just like Thompson, he took only one official football visit — to UM — while he was being recruited. “His family was, ‘If you know Miami is where you’re going, we don’t think it’s very respectful to the University of Miami to visit somewhere else,’” Faith Academy football coach Rusty Mason said.
Malik Rosier faces a challenge playing football and baseball on the collegiate level
Miami Herald | Feb 14