Eric Decker is one of the all-time Golden Gopher multi-sport athlete studs. Dave Winfield is at the top of that totem poll, but Decker is the most recent two-sport star to play at the U of M.
Decker, a Cold Spring, Minnesota, native from Rocori High School, hit over .300 as an outfielder on the Gophers baseball team and he's one of the most-decorated wide receivers in U of M football history. He caught 227 passes for more than 3,100 yards and 24 touchdowns during his four-hear career with the Gophers.
On Wednesday, Drew Hmielewski from Marshall High School in the southwest corner of Minnesota signed to play football and baseball for the Gophers. Hmielewski was a First-Team All-State football player as a wide receiver and safety, and the Star Tribune expects him to play center field on the Gophers baseball team.
“Before I could walk I had a ball in my hand and I have really developed a love for the game of football” Hmielewski said after signing his National Letter of Intent, according to Marshall Radio.
Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys says football is first for Hmielewski, but "if he's in a position to help them (the baseball team) win in the Big Ten – which they believe he can – then I'll work with them to do whatever I can to help coach (John) Anderson and let him play baseball, too."
Decker was good enough at baseball that he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. Whether Hmielewski is good enough to go pro in both sports will be determined in the future, but his dual-sport athleticism is special.