UCF dual-sport athlete John Rhys Plumlee had one busy Friday night. Plumlee, who plays outfield for the Knights’ baseball team and is also their starting quarterback, had a home game on the diamond scheduled for the same night as UCF’s Spring Game. Plumlee got the start in center field and went 1-for-3 with a triple, two RBI, and a run scored in UCF’s win over Memphis before heading across campus to the football field.
Plumlee made a late entrance into the Spring Game and did not start, but once he got going, he put up some big numbers. The QB hit on 10 of 17 passes for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a deep shot to Kobe Hudson. Plumlee was understandably exhausted after the night, and he talked about the experience after the game.
“It’s something that I’ll never forget,” Plumlee said. “Coach Malzahn, I remember being on the phone with him when I was in the transfer portal and telling him, ‘Hey, coach, I want to play football but I also want to play baseball.’ He gave me his word. For him to follow through with that, and to go through the lengths he’s gone through — and (UCF baseball coach Greg) Lovelady, too — to give me the opportunity to do what I love to do is really special.”
Plumlee’s performance caught the attention of Deion Sanders, one of the most notable two-sport athletes in MLB and NFL history. Plumlee posted on social media about his busy night, and Sanders commented on the post, “I love it! Keep balling young Hitta! #Truth #WinningInSilence.”
Plumlee’s accomplishments on Friday night are impressive, and his dedication and work ethic are admirable. It’s not easy to be a student-athlete at the college level, let alone balance two sports at once. Plumlee’s ability to do so is a credit to him and the coaching staffs of both UCF’s baseball and football programs. Knights fans have a lot to look forward to with Plumlee leading the way on the field, and he’ll be a fun athlete to watch as his collegiate career continues.