Alabama baseball signee Riley Quick was ‘very close’ to playing football at Auburn

Riley Quick, Alabama’s Mr. Baseball for 2022 and a Crimson Tide signee, nearly went to the other side of the state to play a different sport in college.

“I was very close,” Quick told AL.com recently. “No one really knows that. “When I was committed to play baseball at Alabama, I was talking to Auburn and Mississippi State, and I was about to go to Auburn to play football.”

But…

“I talked to my brother (Georgia Tech offensive lineman and former Alabama player Pierce Quick) and my dad and a bunch of friends, and they all just kind of advised me that baseball was the right path for me,” he said. “I love both sports, but I don’t have any regrets.”

The fact that Riley Quick had the possibility to play either of two sports at the highest level in college makes him the choice as the 2021-2022 AL.com Birmingham Male Athlete of the Year.

RELATED:

Coastal Athlete of the Year: Jayven Williams, Baker

Tennessee Valley Athlete of the Year: Brayden Kyle, Decatur Heritage

At 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, Quick was one of the top college football prospects in the state for the Class of 2022 as an offensive lineman. He was a first-team Class 7A All-State selection and helped Hewitt-Trussville to a 9-3 record and a second-round playoff berth.

“Riley was a vocal leader for us,” Huskies’ football coach Josh Floyd said. “The best thing I can say about him is he is such a competitor. He was really fun kid to coach. He’s really smart, has a very high football IQ. He knew every job for every lineman. Super talented kid.

“He could play anywhere in the country for football. He could have been a top 50 football player in the country in my opinion had he gone that route.”

It’s not unusual obviously for athletes to play football and baseball in high school. Some have even done it in college. However, Quick’s position combination (offensive/defensive line in football to pitcher in baseball) would have made that transition at Alabama or anywhere else almost impossible.

“Riley could be 280-290 pounds pretty easily,” Floyd said last summer at the thought of Quick trying to play 2 sports in college. “They can put that on quickly in college. Can he do that and then pitch in baseball? That is what makes it a unique situation. If you are an SEC offensive lineman, you aren’t going to be able to play at 240 of 250 pounds. They are going to want him closer to 300 pounds.”

Quick ultimately committed to play baseball for the Tide last July. He is scheduled to report to Tuscaloosa next week, though the Major League Draft later in the month could change his plans again.

“There is a chance I get drafted,” he said last week. “I’m 50-50 right now on what I would do if that happened. I’m going to enroll at Alabama, and see what happens.”

Quick put together his second straight stellar baseball season for the Huskies in 2022, pitching Jeff Mauldin’s team to the Class 7A championship series.

A right-hander, Quick went 13-1 with a 0.92 ERA. He pitched 82.2 innings and also picked up a save. His only loss came against James Clemens in the quarterfinals. He defeated Central-Phenix City 6-0 in the opener of the championship series, though the Red Devils rallied to claim the title the next day.

“He led us,” Hewitt baseball coach Jeff Mauldin said earlier this month. “He was our leader. He was our guy. We felt like every time he pitched, we were going to win. I knew if we got two or three runs with him on the mound, we would win. Sometimes, it just took one.”

Quick threw nine complete games, including six shutouts. Opponents hit .142 against him. He struck out 130 batters and walked just 37. He averaged more than 10 strikeouts a game and allowed 11 earned runs in 15 games pitched.

After the season, he was tabbed the Class 7A Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. It was the second straight year he claimed Pitcher of the Year honors.

He was also named Mr. Baseball at the ASWA’s banquet on June 12.

“He’s probably the toughest competitor I’ve ever coached,” Mauldin said. “He and (current Auburn pitcher) Carson Skipper are the two toughest kids. I’ve had as far as dealing with different hurdles and playing through them.

“Riley was amazing for us this year.”

If he does end up at Alabama next spring, Quick’s goals are clearly defined.

“I just want to go in, work harder than everyone around me and do what I can to help the team,” he said. “Obviously, I would like to work myself into being a weekend guy.”

RECENT BIRMINGHAM MALE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

2022 – Riley Quick, Hewitt-Trussville

2021 — Christian Lewis, Pleasant Grove

2020 – Ga’Quincy McKinstry, Pinson Valley

2019 – Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook

2018 – Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook

2017 – Noah Igbinoghene, Hewitt-Trussville

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.