Boise State linebacker Joe Martarano has spent the past two summers playing with the Chicago Cubs origination. He was picked in the 22nd round in the 2014 MLB Draft and has played third base and mostly at low-levels. Martarno has played with the Cubs low-A affiliate in Eugene, Oregon, and also in the Cubs rookie league.
He played in 18 games last year in two leagues where he had five extra-base hits, 12 RBI and hit .275 with an on-base percentage of .301.
"I'm a junior now and I think it's time to pick a sport and be a leader here for my team," Martarano told the Idaho Press-Tribune. "I'm not giving [baseball] up; I'm putting it on hold.
"My (other) dream is to play in the NFL, so if that doesn't work out, maybe after two years I can try to give baseball another shot and see how it goes."
Martarano is expected to see more playing time at linebacker due to the loses that Boise State on the defensive side of the ball from this past season. This will be the first time he will be focusing on just one sport since entering college and this is key since he trims down from his 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame to play baseball.
Sticking to just football will allow him to maintain that weight and not have to spend time bulking back up.
"I've always known that I've never been to my full potential when I come back from baseball," Martarano said. "I'm not as fast, I'm a little bit smaller and then I eventually get back about halfway through the season to my playing speed. I think it will just boost me into the season from game one."
Last year, Martarano was tied for fifth in the team in tackles with 53, had 2.5 sacks and an interception, he also started four games and saw action in all 13 games.
The coaching staff have to be very happy to get Martarano full-time with the team and not have to wait for him to get in football shape in mid-October, but now he will be ready to go from the start.