Surely you’ve heard that Mississippi beat Alabama, 23-17, part of a wild Saturday filled with college football upsets. What you perhaps didn’t know is how the Red Sox were peripherally involved.
Alabama was driving for the potential winning score in the final minute when senior cornerback Senquez Golson made a leaping interception in the back of the end zone.
“The feeling is indescribable right now,” Golson said after the game.
Golson was a 2011 draft pick of the Red Sox, taken in the eighth round out of Pascagoula (Miss.) High. The team was intent on signing the outfielder and invited him to Fenway Park just before the deadline to sign.
One team official said at the time that the Sox were confident they would land Golson. They liked his athletic ability and the trip to Fenway was seen as a precursor to his signing. But Golson decided to stick with his commitment to football and returned to Mississippi and preseason camp. Golson played 12 games as a freshman and has been a solid player since.
The Sox, who were prepared to sign Golson for more than $1 million, decided to take one last shot at another unsigned draft pick. They raised their bonus offer to $750,000, and before the deadline did indeed sign a second baseman from Brentwood, Tenn., named Mookie Betts.
Betts had been planning to play baseball for the University of Tennessee.
Now Betts is in the majors and Golson is making huge plays against the Crimson Tide. It worked out pretty well for them.
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.