goal: two fields of success
freshman two-sport athlete plays a big role in the baseball
In his freshman season, Chad Huffman has gone from the
sidelines of the football stadium to the diamond of the
baseball field, continuing a family tradition.
Huffman, a quarterback for the football team and a first
baseman and designated hitter for the baseball team, is
the second member of his family to be a two-sport athlete
for the Horned Frogs. Huffmans older brother Royce
also played for both teams and earned TCU All-American
But Huffman says there is more than a family tradition
responsible for making him a two-sport athlete. This spring
he found out what it is like to hit a home run
including one in his first career plate appearance
but now he wants to know what its like to throw
a collegiate touchdown pass.
I havent figured that out yet, said
Huffman, who is leading the baseball team in hitting at
.447. Thats exactly why Im playing both
sports. I really dont know. All I can say is that
they must both be unbelievable.
While Huffman makes his jogs around the bases as an everyday
starter for the baseball team, he has yet to break the
top three on the football teams depth chart at the
He is only a freshman, though, and the lack of p laying
time on the football field wont keep him from remaining
a two-sport athlete.
I think I love football too much, Huffman
said. Its a great game. They told me after
high school not to play college football, but I had to
play because the whole family has. I think I can handle
it, now that Ive been through the process once.
Head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said he wants Huffman
to continue playing football because he can bring an added
dimension to the team.
I love coaching guys who played more than just baseball,
Schlossnagle said. There is a drastic difference
in my experience between guys who played high school football
and those who didnt. Football is such a great teacher
in terms of team concepts, preparation and commitment
to a goal because you only play once a week.
You have to love practice if you play football.
Our motto here at TCU is that you have to love to practice,
you cant just like to play. And that is what a football
player can bring.
Huffman isnt too worried about suffering a football
injury. In fact, he missed several baseball practices
the past month so he could participate in spring football
I just go out there and play at full speed,
Huffman said. I dont think about the chance
of me getting hurt. Im not really worried about
Schlossnagle, however, isnt as comfortable when
his freshman slugger is under center.
Id be hoping they were playing two-hand touch,
and not tackle, said the first year coach. But,
no, we root for him and just pray he doesnt get
Senior second baseman Ramon Moses said with a guy as talented
as Huffman, nothing can get in his way of being a good
If youre good like him, he is going to be
good no matter what, Moses said. He was born
like that. Hes a great player and he always seems
to see the ball real well. He hits it every time.
Moses said even though Huffman may miss practice due to
football, the freshman is the only one player they want
up at the plate in pressure situations.
He brings us confidence, he said. If
there is a situation where we need an RBI or someone to
get on base, he is our guy.
And Huffman thrives under that sort of pressure.
I definitely love to be in pressure situations,
Huffman said. You obviously want to be the guy in
the spotlight. Whatever I can do to help the team win,
I will do.
Schlossnagle admits Huffman is the teams leader
with a bat, but he said the freshman doesnt have
a leadership role right now.
Hes a pretty carefree and levelheaded guy,
Schlossnagle said. Hes not in any kind of
leadership role quite yet. Hes just a good player
and the guys draw themselves to him. Hes kind of
a goofy guy and he keeps the dugout lighthearted. But
his bat is what makes him so popular on the team.
Aside from carrying on a family tradition and loving to
play both sports, the coaching is one of Huffmans
other favorite parts of playing both football and baseball.
Between Schlossnagle and head football coach Gary Patterson,
Huffman feels he has the best of both worlds.
Theyre both great coaches, he said.
Both coaches have different coaching styles, but
they are both just great. Thats definitely the reason
why their teams are so successful right now. Both of them
have certainly helped me with my game.
illustration by Sarah Chacko and Brian Wooddell
guy, two teams: Whether swinging a bat or throwing
a pass, freshman Chad Huffman is in a league of