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Hail Szczur

Mark Jensen of the Philly Inquirer wrote a nice feature on Matt Szczur covering a lot of things that you may not know about one of our favorite Villanova athletes. Here's the condensed version:

  • "Szczur was born a little different."When the doctor pulled him out, he stretched out - he's got biceps, calf muscles. He had definition," said his father, Marc. "I was like, 'What do we have here, Arnold Schwarzenegger?' "
  • "The first year Szczur was allowed to pitch in Little League, after T-ball, he threw no-hitters in his first three games"
  • "Szczur didn't have any football offers other than Villanova. Part of that is because he'd gone to Villanova's camp since eighth grade and when the school offered a scholarship for football and baseball, Matt didn't see a reason to even visit anywhere else."
  • "He comes back here [this fall] for football camp, and after all that acclaim [playing in the Cubs organization], and  says, 'I need to be in football shape right now.' He's as gung-ho and full-bore as he ever was," Flinn said. "He wants to be on the kickoff team. He's adamant. He goes to our special-teams coach: 'Put me in the same spot. I came here to play football. That's what I do. I run down and make tackles on kickoffs.' "
  • "A fifth-round draft choice by the Cubs this year, Szczur said he really enjoyed playing baseball for a living. The Cubs, realizing they are in a competition, treated him more like a first-round draft choice, bringing him to Wrigley Field for a game. Szczur got a $100,000 signing bonus from the Cubs but he gets another $500,000 next February if he chooses baseball over football. This whole experience really gave him a new outlook, he said. He could see himself playing pro baseball."
  • "Szczur hit in 21 straight games as an outfielder this summer in the Cubs organization, although he'd never used a wooden bat for a full season before."
  • "That said, Szczur's thinking is that football offers him an immediate chance to make the big leagues, and draw a big-league salary. If he stayed healthy and played well, he'd probably be on his second NFL contract by the time he reached the major leagues in baseball, Szczur said. "It's a no-brainer, financially," he said."
  • "When NFL scouts show up at Villanova, the coaches will tell them the exact same thing: You will want him on your team."