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Szczur Signs with Cubs. Returns for Senior Year.

(UPDATED 7/10) The good news is that Matt Szczur, the 5th round pick of the Chicago Cubs, agreed to terms on a contract with the North Siders. The even better news is that the Cubs have agreed to allow Szczur to return to Villanova this fall to finish his Football eligibility for the Wildcats.

Szczur will play baseball this summer in the Cubs farm system before returning to school in time to begin preseason football workouts. Regarding the arrangement, he said:

I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to play professional baseball. It has always been a dream of mine to play at this level. I could not have asked for a better situation. I am thrilled to begin my professional baseball career in the Chicago Cubs organization and also be able to return to Villanova for my senior year and help my football teammates defend our national championship.

He was first-team All-Big East in baseball, and the Wildcats' first .400 hitter in over a decade. He put up pretty impressive numbers this baseball season despite missing 10 games after donating his bone marrow to  a young girl with leukemia -- there was only a 1-in-80,000 chance that she would have found a donor.

Villanova now has SIX former baseball players active in the professional baseball, including Justin Bencsko (Pirates) and Brian Streilein (Astros), who were also drafted this summer.

Matt Szczur returns to the FCS gridiron after winning MVP honors in the national championship game last December. He was voted a consensus first-team All-American at the FCS level, as well as being named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year. With his return, the Football 'Cats return the bulk of their National Championship squad. While starters like Osaye Osunde and Ross Ventrone will be missed, it is very likely that the 'Cats will be favorites to return to the national title game again this year.

See Also: The Press of Atlantic City posted this video and story about Matt Szczur's signing.

UPDATE: The Press of Atlantic City reports that Matt Szczur received a $100,000 signing bonus before this summer and will be able to collect an additional $500,000 bonus next summer, IF: "he declines to attend the NFL combine and makes a written commitment to baseball before Feb. 10, 2011." He would also need to pass a physical around that time to ensure that football injuries wouldn't affect him going forward.

This only affects his bonus, however, and he would presumably be able to forgo the $500,000 and try his luck in the NFL draft without losing the opportunity to play baseball in the Cubs system. Forgoing a half-million dollars for anything short of a guaranteed pick in the top two rounds of the NFL draft would be a lot to give up. We should expect that this season will be Matt's farewell to football.