Quickstad trades in bat for pads

Player goes from Twins baseball to college football


The wrong date of Barry Quickstad's release from the Minnesota Twins minor leagues appeared was published on Page 7C Friday. Quickstad, who now plays football at RCTC, was released in the spring of 2002.

---------------------------------------------------------- By Guy N. Limbeck


Barry Quickstad is making a nice adjustment to playing college football.

The 1999 Waseca graduate played four years of minor league baseball in the Minnesota Twins organization. But he was released in spring training this year.

Quickstad decided to go college and also decided to give football a try. The speedster has been thriving so far as a defensive back and a kick returner for Rochester Community and Technical College.

"I think Barry will only get better," RCTC coach Tom Hosier said. "I don't think he realizes how good he can be."

Quickstad showed a sample of his running ability a week ago against Vermilion. He caught a punt at midfield and started to run with the ball. He slowed up and stutter-stepped around three defenders. He then turned on the jets and outraced the rest of the defense for a touchdown.

Quickstad has teamed with Jason Conner to give the Yellowjackets two lethal kick returners. Both players were timed at 4.37 in the 40-yard dash in preseason drills.

"They can get any kind of (kicked) ball in their hands and they have the potential to go all the way," Hosier said.

Quickstad admitted he had to work out the rust and get in football shape for the season.


"Probably getting in shape," Quickstad said of his key to returning. "Because in baseball you don't stay in shape."

Not that a full professional baseball season wasn't a grind. Quite the opposite, in fact.

"It gets old after a while playing baseball," Quickstad said. "It's grueling; it's six months a year and you play about 180 games a year."

Now Quickstad only has to worry about nine regular-season games. He is also starting in the secondary and has two interceptions in three games.

"He's starting to get more aggressive and confident in his play," Hosier said.

Quickstad is older than almost all his RCTC teammates. But he is just a freshman and has one more year of eligibility at RCTC. He then hopes to go on and play at a four-year college.

"Actually I was looking forward to playing football again," Quickstad said. "Even when I was playing baseball I was thinking about it."

And now the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder is getting his chance.

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