McClanahan signs with Rays

By Sam Newlon, Sports Editor
On July 11, 2018

Former USF pitcher Shane McClanahan officially signed with the Tampa Bay Rays about an hour before the 5 p.m. July 5 deadline.

McClanahan was selected with the 31st overall pick in this year’s MLB Draft, but waited about a month before signing his rookie contract. According to the Tampa Bay Times, McClanahan was seeking a $3 million signing bonus, but ended up signing for $2.23 million.

To contrast, former USF closer Andrew Perez signed with the Chicago White Sox just days after he was picked in the eighth round. He played with the Great Falls Voyagers, a White Sox rookie league affiliate, for about a month before being promoted to the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Single-A White Sox affiliate team.

Despite waiting to sign, McClanahan seemed ready to get back to baseball.

“Very blessed and excited to become a Tampa Bay Ray,” he said in a tweet. “Can’t wait to get to work!”

In between the draft and McClanahan’s announcement, there was speculation that the Bulls’ weekend starter might return to USF for another season. McClanahan missed his entire freshman season after he underwent Tommy John’s surgery. If he stayed with USF, McClanahan would return as a redshirt junior with two more years of eligibility.

Coach Billy Mohl expected McClanahan to leave the team at the end of the season, but McClanahan’s decision leaves a hole for USF’s pitching staff.

“It’s a bittersweet day for both of us,” Mohl said in a statement. “He set a goal to leave USF as a first-round pick, and he achieved that goal through hard work and dedication. We couldn’t be more proud. We will miss him… but we look forward to following his career closely.”

Auggie Sanchez becomes GA

USF’s leading all-time tackler knew his football career could hinge on his Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and his acceptance into Florida State University’s Criminology program.

In May, Auggie Sanchez was studying for the GRE and he had two clear paths: get a high enough score and become a graduate assistant at FSU, or get a lower score and try to fit football into his life a different way.

Over the weekend, he got an email that signaled the start of his coaching career.

“After 5 years at USF with a promising career, I tried for the NFL, quickly realized it wasn’t for me,” Sanchez said in an Instagram post on July 6. “The next door opened and I have been given an amazing opportunity to be a graduate assistant at Florida State University.”

Sanchez said he always looked up to Coach Willie Taggart and will get to learn from him again as a GA.

“I’m competitive and don’t mind working hard to be successful,” Sanchez said. “In a game that has evolved so much, you have to have an open mind and willing to change with the times. You have to set your ego aside if you want to be successful.”

Quinton Flowers doing well in NFL

Quinton Flowers’ future in the NFL has been far from certain, but a recent article from the Cincy Jungle said the ex-USF quarterback’s versatility could give him a good shot at making the Bengal’s 53-man roster.

In training camp, Flowers practiced as a running back, punt returner, punt coverage and even red zone situations as quarterback. According to the article, Flowers is right in the middle of the pack for all the positions and his possibilities as a “jack of all trades” could be valuable for the Bengals.

If Cincinnati keeps Flowers for his ability to cover several positions in case of an injury, they may be able to save roster spots for positions where they need extra depth. Flowers still needs to impress coaches to earn his spot.

Some recent posts on Flowers’ Instagram show him participating in workouts even during the Bengal’s offseason.

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