Jeff Francoeur glad college football is here

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jeff Francoeur was less than a week from heading to Clemson to participate in two-a-days before he decided to sign with the Braves after getting picked in the first round of the 2002 draft.

Francoeur had a full scholarship offer from Clemson and was tempted to take it. But he decided on a baseball career.

"I loved baseball," Francoeur said.

Still, he thinks about rubbing Howard's Rock and running down the hill at Death Valley when football season comes around.

"That would be pretty cool to do, wouldn't it?" Francoeur said.

Francoeur, who watched some of the Florida-Miami (Ohio) game in the visiting clubhouse on Saturday, got his first start in a Rangers uniform at Target Field as Clemson played North Texas.

Francoeur still has some college eligibility left, but isn't planning on using it, joking that he's not Chris Weinke, the former FSU quarterback who spent six years in the Toronto Blue Jays system before deciding to play college football.

Francoeur's focus is helping the Rangers down the stretch in 2010. He'll play mainly against left-handed pitching but got a shot against a right-hander on Saturday because manager Ron Washington didn't want him sitting around for a week without getting some at-bats. He went 1-for-4 in his Rangers debut.