John Rhys Plumlee has dreamed of playing both football and baseball at the collegiate level ever since he was a little kid. Playing a college sport is a grind, let alone being a dual-sport athlete. Still, not once did the thought of a balancing act interfere with his dream.
“I thought it could be done,” Plumlee said. “Coming up, you see other players doing it. If they can do it, I can do it.”
Plumlee has done it at Oak Grove High School the last few years, achieving near-legendary status for his dazzling play on the football field and baseball diamond. As a result, his dream is now a reality.
Plumlee announced Friday evening his commitment to the University of Georgia, where he will play football and baseball at the SEC level. From his first offer last July to his 19th last month, it’s all been a process.
“I’ve been doing a lot of traveling to a lot of schools, just checking out and putting faces with names on coaching staffs,” Plumlee said. “Everywhere I went, everybody’s going to have a good facility and stuff. Most everywhere I went had really good people.
“But it kind of felt like Georgia was a really good spot and fit for me people-wise. It’s a good opportunity as well with football and baseball.”
Plumlee is ranked by ESPN as the ninth-best dual-threat quarterback in the country for the 2019 class. As a junior last fall for Oak Grove, he passed for 1759 yards and 14 touchdowns. He added 599 yards and eight scores on the ground.
In the spring, Plumlee roamed centerfield for the Warriors. At the plate, he led the team in batting average (.455), hits (40), runs scored (38) and RBI (35). He added three home runs, which ranked second on the team.
Plumlee says plenty of schools offered him a chance to play both sports. Georgia had been on his mind for a while though. Ultimately, his decision to pull the trigger and commit to the Bulldogs came from a vote of confidence from Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart and his staff.
Plumlee threw for them at a camp earlier this month and was told afterwards they liked what they saw. After some evaluation, they called him, at that moment, their number one quarterback for the 2019 class, but that they were also still looking at a few other options. Then on Friday, they called Plumlee up with big news.
“They said that I was the guy,” Plumlee said. “I had been thinking about it since I went up there. I said that if they allowed me to, I think that’s the right spot for me. It all worked out for me.
“My family is really excited about it, too. We’ve all been praying about it. Through the whole thing, they’ve been looking with me and evaluating as well. They were really excited about it. And the coaching staff seemed to be really excited about it. All-around I think everybody’s excited right now.”
As of right now, Plumlee says he has no plans to visit other schools prior to his signing day.
“I’m probably going to shut it down and have the summer to really focus on high school football and just still be a kid in high school,” Plumlee said. “And really work towards doing big things with my team this year.”