University of Tulsa Head Football Coach Bill Blankenship confirmed today that kicker/punter Cole Way has informed him of his decision to forego his final season and pursue a baseball career after being selected in the 38th round with the 1,143rd pick by the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
Way, a 6'8" senior from Tulsa Union High School, has spent three years with the Golden Hurricane football team and last year handled the kickoff duties.
He had 55 kickoffs for a 63.8-yard average with 33 touchbacks. Way, who played in 33 career games, has also punted in his career having handled the punting chores as a true freshman and sophomore. He punted 117 times for a 38.7-yard average with 41 fair caught and 31 punts inside the 20-yard line during his career.
"First of all, I am excited for Cole's opportunity, but selfishly we are disappointed because he brings so much to our team," said Blankenship. "Cole is one of the real leaders of this team in terms of the emotions and spirit. He is a great encourager. He has been in our program almost four years and he knows how it is done. We are going to miss that leadership from him, but we wish him the very best."
A left-handed pitcher, Way last pitched for his Union High School team as a prep senior in the spring of 2010. Way came to Tulsa at mid-semester in January 2011 as a gray-shirt after signing with Tulsa in February of 2010.