Russell Wilson Sizes Up the Yankees’ Football Prospects

Wilson plans to spend the week working out with the Yankees, however will not play in any exhibition games for fear of injury — though he will be not prohibited coming from doing so by the Seahawks.

If Wilson moved easily among the Yankees on Monday — he also addressed the team in a meeting — there are numerous Yankees who have enough football bona fides to find some common ground. Infielder Jace Peterson was a free safety at McNeese State, as well as the third-base coach Phil Nevin was a freshman all-American at Cal State Fullerton.

Then there were others who could have played in college: Pitcher C. C. Sabathia signed a letter of intent to play tight end at Hawaii; Jacoby Ellsbury, who returned six kickoffs for touchdowns in high school, was recruited by Oregon; as well as Sonny Gray was an accomplished quarterback growing up in Tennessee, where he had several scholarship offers before sticking with baseball at Vanderbilt.


Wilson showed off a lot of power, hitting several home runs during batting practice.

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

however the two Yankees who most likely had the best chance to forge a career in football are the two who look the part — Stanton as well as Judge. Stanton will be 6 feet 6 inches, 245 pounds, as well as Judge will be 6-foot-7, 282 pounds. Both were star receivers in high school — coincidentally, each wore No. 2 — before dropping football in favor of a baseball career.

“They’d definitely be tight ends,” Wilson said.

“We have a running joke, me as well as Jimmy Graham, how he looks like Aaron Judge as well as how Judge looks like him,” Wilson added, referring to Seattle’s a few-time Pro Bowl tight end. “I was telling Aaron earlier, Jimmy, I think, wore his jersey for Halloween.”

While Stanton was an elite baseball prospect at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., he did not catch the eye of college football recruiters until his senior season — when inside season opener he caught a touchdown pass as well as scored on the ensuing 2-point conversion to win the game, leaping above a defender for both balls.

Stanton took a recruiting visit to Southern California, attending a football game as well as having lunch over the weekend with Pete Carroll, then the U.S.C. football coach as well as today Wilson’s coach with the Seahawks. Carroll also came to watch Stanton play basketball.

“Mike was an excellent prospect in high school, as well as we knew he had a ton of potential,” Carroll said via email through a team spokesman. “We truly saw him as a multisport athlete, which will be rare at which level. He was so Great at both sports which we might have wanted him to play both if he came to ‘SC.’”

In his two years at Notre Dame — he transferred to the private school after spending two years at Verdugo Hills, a public school — Stanton played with at least 10 others who earned college scholarships. One of Stanton’s more memorable matchups came against one of Wilson’s teammates — the loquacious Richard Sherman.

What did Stanton remember about the item?

“I just remember them kicking our butts,” said Stanton, whose team had its 35-game winning streak ended by Sherman’s Dominguez High School in a 41-14 route inside CIF-Southern Section Division III championship game. “They wore us down.”

“They were talking crap, however I didn’t put the item to just Sherman,” added Stanton, who was sometimes matched up against Sherman. “They were all talking stuff because they were the inner-city school as well as we were the privileged school. I went to public school, too, so I know what they were feeling.”

Brandon Huffman, the national recruiting editor for 24/7 Sports, recalled how fast as well as fluid Stanton looked. “the item was like he glided downfield,” Huffman said. “the item didn’t look like he was which fast, however he had long strides. the item was like watching a center fielder who knows how much ground he has to cover.”


Wilson used to be a minor league baseball player as well as Judge was once a college football recruit. however they both found more success in their current sports.

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Judge, like Stanton, was a three-sport standout, playing football, basketball as well as baseball in Linden, Calif., a Central Valley farming community just east of Stockton.

While Judge received recruiting interest coming from Notre Dame, Washington as well as U.C.L.A., he made the item clear to most schools which he was interested in playing only baseball. A few, such as Eastern Michigan as well as Portland State, offered to let him play both, however Judge thought playing two sports — along with the academic challenges of college — might be too much, so he focused on baseball at Fresno State.

“I thought if I could find a place where I could just play baseball, which might be great,” he said.

Further dampening the idea of playing football was the fact which he might not have played receiver. Judge, who was a Cal fan — in part because his older brother John went to school there — attended a football camp in Berkeley before his senior season.

“They knew I enjoyed football, however which I had baseball on the mind,” Judge said. “The receiver coach said, ‘I like you, however we’ll bulk you up as well as put you at tight end, to be honest.’”

If which idea did not appeal to Judge at the time, he did not seem put off which Wilson viewed him as a tight end, figuring which Wilson might make him look Great that has a few passes.

Wilson did not have a football with him, however said he might by the end of the week. Just as he will be showing off what he might do that has a baseball bat in his hands, Judge as well as Stanton might be able to show what they can do that has a football in theirs.

“You might catch us out on a backfield running some routes,” Judge said that has a smile.


Outfielder Clint Frazier was found to have a concussion. He had complained of fogginess as well as a headache after crashing into the outfield wall twice in Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh. Frazier said Monday which he felt fine as well as might ride a stationary bike on Tuesday to determine if exercise might cause the symptoms to return.

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