We know Zach Plesac as a member of the Guardians rotation, but could he have had a football career as well?
Throughout the past few decades, the question of what age to specialize in a single sport has been a topic of discussion among sport science professionals. In general, scholars support a developmental model of sport participation which encourages youth athletes to play multiple sports while growing up rather than specializing in one sport at an early age.
Unfortunately, sometimes youth baseball players are encouraged to specialize early in order to try to become elite. An example of an athlete who did not specialize in one sport at an early age, but still reached the highest level of athletics, is Cleveland Guardians pitcher Zach Plesac.
In high school, Plesac participated in multiple sports, including basketball, football, baseball and tennis. And in a recent interview with Chris Rose on TheChris Rose Rotation, Plesac discussed his high school football career:
As a high school football player at Crown Point High School in Indiana, Plesac had a great high school career. In his junior year, Plesac set a record for most receptions in a season and also helped his team win a sectional championship. In the interview with Rose, Plesac described himself as a possession-type receiver who was really good at getting open and making the catch.
Rose also asked Plesac if he could have played NCAA Division I football (he definitely thought he could). In fact, Plesac was initially interested in playing both football and baseball at Ball State; however, he was encouraged to only play baseball.
Plesac also mentioned that he often jokes with his agent and strength coach about helping him obtain a tryout or practice with the Cleveland Browns.
If you’re interested in watching Plesac’s amazing high school football highlights, check out the video here.