David Keating, the No. 3 receiver last fall for UCLA's football team, signed a professional baseball contract with the Detroit Tigers and will skip his senior football season.
"Since I've decided to make baseball my career, I figured it was time to concentrate solely on that and give that 100% of my effort," Keating said Monday. He caught 23 passes for 341 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Keating, 21, batted .266 in 52 games this spring for the UCLA baseball team, with six home runs and 24 runs batted in.
Considered to be an exceptional center fielder, he was a fifth-round draft choice of the Tigers, who assigned him to their Class-A New York-Penn League affiliate at Niagara Falls, N.Y. He is expected to report in time for the Rapids' game tonight against the St. Catharines (Canada) Blue Jays.
Keating, who probably would have been a reserve receiver again this fall behind starters Mike Farr and Reggie Moore, said he didn't believe that he had a future in professional football.
"I don't think I could have accomplished much more in football," he said.
Still, he contemplated a return to UCLA this fall.
"I went back and forth," he said. "Then, (the Tigers) came back and gave me a little more money and guaranteed (they would send me to) instructional league. They showed they were going to take the time to work with me. That was the deciding factor."