The Arizona Wildcats have lost one of their top football signees, defensive end Dylan Cozens, who was selected 77th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in the baseball draft Tuesday morning.
He quickly told the Arizona Republic that he will sign with Philadelphia.
“I’m glad that it (getting drafted) finally happened,” Cozens told the Republic. “I’m ready to get the show on the road.”
In new draft rules with prescribed bonuses for picks through the first 10 rounds, Cozens could be due around $659,800 as a signing bonus, according to Baseball America.
His mother told the Republic that her son had a $2 million offer to play in Japan.
Asked last week about Cozens’ baseball possibilities, UA football coach Rich Rodriguez told TucsonCitizen.com: “If it comes to that point, then we’ll present the facts to him as to what his options would be. Selfishly, we want him to play football, but we’ll see how that goes.”
But it sounds as if Cozens’ mind was pretty much made up.
Cozens (6-5, 235) is a big, lefty slugger who hit a state-best 19 home runs, including a walk-off to lift Scottsdale Chaparral to the Division I state championship over Phoenix Brophy Prep.
He played only one season of high school football, but his high-motor and productivity (7.5 sacks) quickly caught the eye of college recruiters. He signed with Arizona over offers from Boise State and Washington, saying that he also wanted to play baseball with the Wildcats.
Cozens was “one of the best defensive ends we saw this year in high school, period,” Rodriguez said on Signing Day.
“I think he has a great upside. He’s a tough guy; he’s athletic. … He’s the kind of football player I think we can build a program around from a standpoint of that he has a high motor and loves the game.”