Before Adley Rutschman became the Orioles’ top prospect, he was kicking for Oregon State — and tackling a future NFL star

At the bottom of the pile, Christian McCaffrey felt he had to ask to confirm his suspicions. Then one of the best returners in college football for Stanford, McCaffrey wasn’t used to being dragged down — let alone by whom he now feared.

“Did I just get tackled by the kicker?” McCaffrey asked at the bottom of the scrum.

“Yep,” Adley Rutschman responded. “You just got tackled by me.”

Of course, labeling Rutschman as a kicker is only part of the truth. He could boot the ball deep and hit a state-record field goal in high school, but Rutschman wasn’t the spindly stereotype of what a kicker tends to be. He played fullback and outside linebacker in high school, too.

And he happened to be a burgeoning baseball player for Oregon State, a freshman on his way to becoming the top overall selection in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft and the highest-ranked prospect in the league with the Orioles.

But before he took the diamond at Oregon State, starting that rapid rise as a highly coveted catcher and the future of Baltimore’s organization, he was kicking off for the Beavers. And tackling a future NFL star.

“From the outside looking in, it was like, ‘Oh man, a kicker,’” said Jake Cookus, the special teams coordinator at Oregon State. “But Adley wasn’t a kicker. He was a dude.”

For that one season for the Beavers, Rutschman lived his dream of being a two-sport athlete. But it was a dream that couldn’t last — not if he was to become the caliber of baseball player he is now.

Still, when Rutschman looks back on his college years, spending his freshman season as a kicker for Oregon State is one of his fondest memories. There was the time he tackled McCaffrey, of course. Yet that takes a backseat to the …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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