In his time at Villanova, Matt Szczur proved to be one of the most valuable athletes to ever grace the University, both on and off the field.
As a member of the baseball team he missed several weeks of the baseball season to donate his bone marrow to an infant girl and still managed to put up such stellar numbers that he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of last year’s draft to play center field.
He played for the Cubs over the summer but decided to return to Villanova for his senior year to help the football team try to defend their 2009-10 FCS Championship.
Although he suffered an injury that kept him off on the sidelines for six games of the 2010-11 football season, the former Maxwell Award winner was still able to contribute greatly when he was on the field; enough so that Villanova made it back to the playoffs and fell one win short of making their second straight FCS championship game.
Many speculated that Szczur would take a shot at the NFL. He was invited to play in the NCAA Senior Bowl and was considered a top 100 NFL prospect.
However, Szczur decided to go with baseball. Originally he would have made $500,000 if he signed a written commitment to play for the Cubs before February 10th, 2011. The Cubs, in an attempt to keep Szczur in their organization and out of the NFL, recently tripled their offer to $1.5 million.
Baseball America had Szczur ranked as the #7 prospect in the Cubs organization late in 2010 but after they unloaded some prospects to acquire pitcher Matt Garza from the Rays, Szczur may now be ranked even higher.
Based on what we’ve seen from Matt Szczur on and off the field for the past several seasons, we’d say the Cubs got a pretty good deal. Hail Szczur.
Our video of Matt Szczur’s press conference can be viewed below: