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DeAndre Smelter opts to give up baseball, concentrate on football for Yellow Jackets

If you’re a fan of Georgia Tech sports, this is kind of a good news/bad news announcement. DeAndre Smelter, who has played for the last three seasons on a baseball scholarship at Georgia Tech, has decided he’s done shagging fly balls for Danny Hall, and will devote his full athletic attention to football.

After two scoreless appearances as a pitcher this season, Smelter is stepping away from the diamond and will become full-time for Paul Johnson’s football team, where he had 21 receptions for 345 yards and four touchdowns in 2013 – his first season playing on the gridiron for the Jackets.

Smelter is an incredibly gifted athlete, and has played a lesser role than expected with the baseball team, partly due to a shoulder injury that he suffered while still in high school. It looked as though his form was beginning to return, but Smelter didn’t want to divide his practice time between the two sports.

“I think he had talked a lot with his family and just felt like this is the best decision for him to try to, as he said, put all his eggs into the football basket,” coach Danny Hall said. “He doesn’t have a bigger fan than me for him to do well in football.”

This could prove to be an important decision for the football team, who will be breaking in a new quarterback this season. Having an experienced and talented receiver like Smelter giving his full attention to playbooks and scrimmages rather than throwing sessions will be a big help.

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