Private airplanes, pickup trucks and a complete calendar: How UCF’s
Andrea Adelson, ESPN
- Elder WriterMay 23, 2023, 08:00 AM ET Close ACC press reporter.
- Signed up with ESPN.com in 2010.
- Graduate of the University of Florida.ORLANDO, Fla.– There is multitasking. Then there is UCF quarterback/center fielder John Rhys Plumlee’s variation of multitasking, complete with a personal aircraft, pickup trucks, golf carts, calendars, group texts, and a group of coaches, nutritional experts, trainers and teammates standing all set to help.Plumlee plays football and baseball for the Knights and does so at an exceptionally high level. He’s the beginning quarterback for a team transitioning into the Huge 12 next season. He’s also the beginning center fielder on the baseball group. Remarkably, he missed out on only one football practice and one baseball game this whole spring.The outcome has actually been what Plumlee describes as”some of the coolest days of my life.”It would not have happened without a football coach who thought– six years back– in what Plumlee wanted to do, then finally got a possibility to follow through.”I believe, at a lot of places, what I did would not be possible, whether it’s too much on the baseball side or too much on the football side, “Plumlee stated.”This has been my dream since I’ve been in second grade, and I’m getting to live my dream. It’s truly, actually enjoyable. “As UCF prepares to play in the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament beginning Tuesday (ESPN +), Plumlee recently reviewed a wild 4 weeks divided between spring football practices and the baseball regular season, a stretch that consisted of playing a baseball game and the spring football game on the same evening. Dealing with both obligations needed a herculean effort from many, but all of it started with a meeting with Plumlee, UCF football coach Gus Malzahn and UCF baseball coach Greg Lovelady.And a giant calendar. “The stars really simply lined up in regards to how do we make this occur?” Lovelady stated.”When you begin thinking about it, I believe on the front end, you’re
like,’There are going to be a ton of concerns.’ However in truth, it exercised completely.”So about last night … #G 10rytoGod pic.twitter.com/dIa2QeVnQV!.?.!— John Rhys Plumlee (@JohnRhysPlumlee )April 15, 2023 This spring journey in fact started in 2021, after Plumlee entered the transfer portal from Ole Miss. Plumlee had played baseball for 2 seasons there, however football had not gone as well as he had desired. After early success at quarterback as a freshman, Plumlee was transferred to
receiver for 2021 because coach Lane Kiffin chose Matt Corral as his starter.Plumlee got in the portal after that season ended, and he made it clear to any program that revealed interest that he wanted to play quarterback once again. However he also had another demand: He wished to continue his baseball career, too.While he was the head coach at Auburn, Malzahn had recruited Plumlee out of high school.
At the time, Malzahn had actually assured Plumlee he could play both sports if he signed with the Tigers. Now at UCF, Malzahn saw a chance to get a quarterback he constantly wanted, 6 years later.Malzahn gave him a simple reaction:”Come on
, I’ll let you play.”Plumlee didn’t reach UCF until January 2022, too late to play baseball. So this spring was his first two-sport trial at UCF. It’s a distinct position to be in with only a handful of other football/baseball players around the country, consisting of Virginia quarterback/pitcher Jay Woolfolk.In Plumlee’s case, UCF went to extraordinary lengths to make sure Plumlee was able to browse his schedule to take part in almost every spring football practice– consisting of the spring game.The primary step was to compare practice schedules. The fact that football has early morning practices and baseball practices or plays games in the afternoon and night made finding out logistics a little smoother.But there were possible conflicts they determined right now– a midweek baseball game at Miami on a football practice day; a journey to East Carolina on a day UCF had a football scrimmage arranged; and … the spring football game set for April 14, the very same day the baseball group hosted Memphis. To make matters more difficult, those conflicts were arranged over a 10-day span.Plumlee refused to shortchange one sport in favor of another, so he asked everyone to collaborate so he could make every practice and every game. That included monitoring his athletic-related activity hours so he did not go over limits set by the NCAA. “To be truthful, I was fretted about him mentally and physically wearing down because he was battered at the end of in 2015, however I have actually never ever seen anything like it. He improved every practice. He had terrific energy. It was something else simply to watch, “Malzahn said.”It’s truly remarkable.”On a normal football practice day, Plumlee would wake up between 5:45 and 6 a.m. and get to the center around 6:30 to consume breakfast and get taped up. Team conferences started at 7:30 a.m., followed by offending and positional meetings. At 9, players begin heading to
the field. By 11:15 a.m., practice would be done, and Plumlee would get treatment on whatever he required– whether it ached hamstrings, hips or shoulders.Then he would eat lunch and head to baseball at 1 p.m. to do some early batting cage work. Group conferences at 2:15 or 2:30, then practice up until 4:30 or 5. He would shower and go house to do his schoolwork and consume dinner– Plumlee had online classes to complete his interdisciplinary research studies degree and finished in early Might. Lights out around 9:30 p.m.”I believe 99.9% of the country, you go from football in the early morning, baseball in the afternoon, at 6 o’clock, you wish to shower, enter bed and just get to the next day, “said tight end Alec Holler, among Plumlee’s closest good friends on the football team.”However rather, he’s moving on to the
3rd part of his day, school. He had 3 extreme duties, and he managed them really excellent. “Holler called what Plumlee did this spring”unprecedented and outstanding “and noted that even when Plumlee was on the road with baseball, he would have his iPad with him enjoying football game tape and discussing the brand-new playbook. His football colleagues cheered his decision to do both
, and they end up becoming newfound baseball fans while doing so. “A lot of individuals asked me,’How are you doing it?'”Plumlee stated.” But I got up every day this spring thrilled– I get to go to football, and I get to go to baseball, and it’s going to be amazing. Now, certainly, I’m going to get tired. I was tired some days. But that’s when my teammates actioned in to get me through. The village that it took to make it occur, it reveals that individuals care here at UCF. It was a whirlwind.” To keep Plumlee fresh for both football and baseball, the training personnel established a group text chain to keep each other in the loop, consisting of associate sports director for sports medication Mary Vander Heiden and fitness instructors Mackenzie Kennedy and Kaylee Shores.”They were in constant interaction to inform each
other what we dealt with, “Plumlee said.” Possibly one day I had tight hips, or I was sore and threw less during baseball practice. There was a continuous line of interaction that was happening. Without them, I do not make it through the spring. ” Get your preferred live sports, stories and originals with ESPN+, Disney+and Hulu. Upgrade to a Disney Package strategy and start streaming something for everyone today! On the strength side, Plumlee raised with the football team but his regimen was tailored around what was happening with baseball. On game days, possibly he did not lift with as much volume however there were
certain sets and reps he needed to do to preserve his weight and arm strength. Plumlee can remember just one time over that four-week period when his shoulder felt sore.But tired? That was another matter. From April 4 to 14 proved to be the most tough. On April 4, UCF had a football practice in the
early morning and a baseball game that night at Miami. After Plumlee finished practice, he showered and his lunch was packaged and waiting on him to eat on his trip south.Assistant director of football operations Kenny Yerves had his truck brought up in front. Plumlee hopped in, and they made the four-hour drive down to Coral Gables for the game. He arrived 5 minutes prior to they began batting practice, then went 1-for-4 in a 14-3 loss.Plumlee remained the night and headed back to Orlando on Wednesday. On Thursday, he played in a football skirmish in the stadium, then sprinted past everyone, showered, changed and returned into the truck with Yerves.
This time, he was headed to the airport and a personal plane to take him to Greenville, North Carolina, where a doubleheader versus East Carolina was scheduled to start later on that afternoon.” We drove right as much as the plane, “Plumlee said.”I seemed like a rock star.
I was viewing the pilots fly the plane, thinking,’Guy this is truly cool. ‘”He continued to take a nap, and when he woke up, they had landed. Plumlee reached the baseball arena thirty minutes before the first pitch and played in both games, with three hits and 2 runs scored.”I
‘m exhausted simply thinking about it, and once again, he played fantastic, and I never felt, ‘What a day he’s had, he’s out of gas, ‘” Lovelady said.”He was all set to go when he appeared. I know it’s been an imagine his to do this, so he was delighted about it all.” The next week, UCF had its spring strategy. Lovelady agreed to move the start time for the home opener versus Memphis to 5 p.m., and football consented to start the spring game at 7:30 p.m., hoping Plumlee could play in both. When inclement weather condition required the baseball game to start 30 minutes late, there were more than a few individuals– Plumlee consisted of– who began sweating whether he would have the ability to make it to the football stadium right next door.Luckily for him, UCF jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the seventh inning. At this moment, everyone inside the baseball arena could hear the music roaring from the football stadium.Just beyond the outfield, the tailgating was in full speed, “You might feel the ambiance from the football stadium from our stadium, so I make certain that gets some juices streaming for him, “Lovelady said.”I informed him it was all up to him. I’m not going to tell him what to do. I said,’You inform me, you want to go football, we’ll do that,’ and he resembled,’ I’m not missing the game.’ “Plumlee asked Lovelady whether he might go over to football after his at-bat in the seventh. Lovelady concurred. When it was his turn, Plumlee hit a single to first. He ended his day going 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs.”I’m training first base, and he gets to first and I took a look at him, and he looked at me, and I resembled,’Now?’He
resembled, ‘Yup!’I resembled,’ All right, pinch runner. ‘There he went, running off the field. It was quite surreal simply watching him run and go. You’re kind of enjoying
the whole thing transpire in front of your eyes, “Lovelady said.The UCF social networks team existed to record everything, as Plumlee hopped on a golf cart with Yerves at the wheel and headed over to the football arena and into the locker space to enter his football uniform.Halftime of the marathon!! #G 10rytoGod pic.twitter.com/LZB9y3jLGU!.?.!— John Rhys Plumlee(@JohnRhysPlumlee )April 15, 2023 Plumlee narrated his journey for the cameras,”Now we’re going to have to see how quick this fast modification is going to be. “Yerves was there to help Plumlee place on his shoulder pads, and then Plumlee ran into the stadium, where the game had already started.When he walked onto the field, the crowd invited him with a rousing ovation.”I’m heating up, and everyone’s like, ‘Let’s go! ‘You have actually got youngsters shrieking, ‘Let’s go, John Rhys!’It was truly cool. Due to the fact that I keep in mind being that age, appreciating professional athletes and thinking,’I wish to be that guy one day, therefore to have the roles reversed and a little person taking a look at me is actually cool. Really cool.”Plumlee followed up his huge performance in the baseball game with a huge performance in the spring football game– completing 10 of 17 passes for 236 lawns with 2 goals.
New offending coordinator Darin Hinshaw and Malzahn made a collective effort this spring to deal with Plumlee’s downfield death– and it revealed
in his performance. Malzahn also points out that last spring was the very first time Plumlee had actually played quarterback since 2020.” Now that he’s got a year under his belt, Darin has done a super task with his mechanics, he’s more accurate, his pocket awareness and peace has actually truly enhanced,”Malzahn said.”Throwing the ball vertically down
the field was really our primary emphasis in the spring, and he’s improved in that, too. It’s been great to enjoy. “But maybe more remarkable is what Plumlee has actually done on the baseball diamond this season. “He didn’t see a live pitch for 18 months, and for him to come out here and do what he’s done, it’s pretty remarkable,”Lovelady said.”
You have actually just got to be actually gifted and gifted. I believed his second-half numbers would be way better than his first-half numbers as he entered into the rhythm of doing this every day. “But guy, he shot out right out of the chute ready to go. He was striking.318 two months into the season. I was just flabbergasted. It’s really a testimony to him, his ability, his work principles and simply his demeanor.This is the first football-baseball athlete Lovelady has actually coached, and he would be willing to do everything
over once again– however he likewise kept in mind how tough Plumlee has worked to make it all occur.”It’s not that easy, and he has actually made it look truly, truly simple,” Lovelady said.This will be Plumlee’s in 2015 of college football, and at some point he will need to decide about what course to take moving forward. At 6 feet, 200 pounds, he is undersized for the NFL, however Malzahn stated,” I believe he’s capable of being an NFL quarterback.
“Because of the COVID-19 year and his decision to go into the transfer portal, Plumlee might remain at UCF for at least another season and continue playing baseball, where he is a late-round Big league Baseball draft possibility. “I have not really believed that far ahead in the huge scheme of things,” Plumlee said.”But football, this is
my last year. We’ll have to see, but I’m wanting to perform really great this year and do some huge things and put myself in a chance to get drafted.”Although Plumlee is now well previous spring football season, a part
of him thinks back to what he did over that four-week stretch with marvel.” If we didn’t video half of it, you wouldn’t think it,” Plumlee said.