Elijah Staley is back to being a one sport athlete.
The Mississippi State redshirt freshman announced on Twitter that he has decided to give up basketball and focus solely on playing quarterback for the Bulldogs.
“I just want to thank coach (Ben) Howland and the Mississippi State basketball team for the opportunity to live out my dream in being able to play two sports on the college level,” Staley tweeted. “As of today I have decided to focus on playing football only and would like to thank everyone for the support y’all have given me in playing both.”
Staley had appeared in two games off the bench as a 6-foot-6 forward logging one point, one rebound and a steal in eight minutes of action.
“I was really appreciative of his efforts and what he did to come out and help us in practice,” Howland said. “In talking with his dad, his main focus is football. Now they’re going to be getting back to their conditioning program and he really wants to battle for the starting position. He wasn’t getting really any meaningful minutes in the games and I couldn’t honestly promise him I was going to play him more minutes.”
Staley enters spring football practice expected to battle with Nick Fitzgerald, Damian Williams and Nick Tiano to be the starting signal caller replacing Dak Prescott.
Staley played in two games on the gridiron this past fall completing 3 of 5 passes for 51 yards and a touchdown and rushing three times for 18 yards.
Staley signed as a two-sport player after being recruited by former MSU coach Rick Ray to play basketball as well. He missed the entire 2014-15 basketball season after undergoing knee surgery.