June 12, 2012 10:01:35 AM
STARKVILLE -- Dan Mullen may have gotten his quarterback of the future Monday evening when Cord Sandberg, one of the nation's top dual-threat prospect, committed to the Bulldogs.
"I wanted to play football in the SEC," Sandberg said. "That was important to me. I know what coach Mullen has done with other quarterbacks, and I wanted to be a part of that."
In the mold of a former Mullen protégé Tim Tebow, the Bradenton, Fla., recruit is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and a three-star recruit by 247sports.com and Scout.com.
Sandberg, a left-hander who is 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, also is a standout in baseball. He passed for 2,187 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 813 yards and 10 touchdowns last season as a junior and led Manatee High to a state championship. Rivals.com ranks Sandberg as the nation's 10th-best dual-threat quarterback.
"When I told him I wanted to be a Bulldog he said he was jumping up and down," Sandberg said. "It is a great feeling."
MaxPreps.com named Manatee the No. 1 team in the country in its Preseason Top 25 High School Football poll.
Sandberg holds 17 scholarship offers from programs like Auburn University, the University of Arizona, Clemson University, the University of Illinois, LSU, the University of Mississippi, and West Virginia University.
Sandberg will visit MSU on an official visit next month. He said that will be his only college visit.
This news comes less than two weeks after Sandberg told Rivals.com he would visit LSU.
"I am coming up to visit on the 23rd and 24th of July," Sandberg said. "I am not going to visit anywhere else. I know this is where I want to be, and I am done with recruiting."
Sandberg could be a prospect for the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft. He bats and throws left-handed, shows power at the plate, and covers a lot of ground in center field with above-average speed.
"He's super athletic," Manatee High baseball coach Dwayne Strong told Baseball America. "He's one of the better guys I've coached in 25 years. He's got a pretty good tool set."
Sandberg's father, Chuck, was a first baseman at the University of Florida. The Boston Red Sox selected him in the ninth round of the 1979 draft. He spent three years in the minor leagues before a knee injury cut his career short. Chuck Sandberg has been a football coach at Manatee High for 25 years.