Weidnaar to transfer

Updated: July 6, 2004, 9:20 PM ET
Associated Press

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Wyoming backup quarterback Zach Weidenaar is hanging up his football cleats and picking up his baseball glove, after spending much of the summer longing to be back on the diamond.

"I had a tough decision last summer on whether to come to Wyoming and play football or else try and pursue a baseball career," he told the Laramie Daily Boomerang.

Weidenaar, a redshirt freshman from Bozeman High in Montana, had been in Laramie this summer working out with the Cowboy football team.

He said he has made no firm decision on which college he will transfer to, but it would probably be either Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Wash., or Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colo.

He was a five-year pitcher and outfielder for the Bozeman American Legion program. In his final season, he batted .536 and hit seven home runs, leading the Kansas City Royals to draft him in the 48th round. He wasn't offered a contract, however, so he decided to play football instead.

"I want to play one year of JC ball and try and get a (major league) contract," Weidenaar said Monday. "Then I could get them to pay for my college education."

He said he loved everything about the Wyoming gridiron program.

"If I was going to continue to play football, Wyoming is the place I would want to be," he said. "It is an amazing program with great coaches. I feel bad about leaving, but at the same time, playing baseball is what I really want to do."

The 6-foot-3, 206-pounder had moved into a strong position to become the Cowboys' No. 2 quarterback behind junior Corey Bramlet, and was the Cowboys' best running quarterback.

Weidenaar said he had been watching a lot of baseball this summer and found himself really missing the sport. Then he received a phone call from a major league scout who asked him if he would consider a switch.

"That started me thinking about it," he said. "I weighed all the pros and cons and decided I wanted to play baseball."

Wyoming coach Joe Glenn was unavailable for comment.

Weidenaar said if Wyoming still had a baseball team he would have remained in Laramie and attempted to play both sports.

Cowboy senior J.J. Raterink was listed as the backup signal-caller coming out of spring camp, but Weidenaar was expected to challenge him in the fall.

Now freshman Stinson Dean and redshirt freshman Jacob Doss are back in the picture for the No. 2 spot.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press