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So how much might it be worth to be a quarterback at Brigham Young University?

If you're Ryan Hancock, about $100,000.That's how much Hancock turned down from the California Angels last June so he could play quarterback at Brigham Young.

"When some people just hear how much I turned down they look at me like I'm crazy. Those are the people who don't know the whole story," said Hancock, who pitches for BYU.

"It was a real hard call, believe me. Sometimes I even wonder why I did it, but then I start thinking more rationally. I couldn't just quit football; to forget I ever played it. Who knows what my future would be in football, but that would be something I might regret if I never found out, especially after the kind of senior season I had."

Hancock had quite a senior year at Monte Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif., throwing for for 3,600 yards and 42 touchdowns in 10 games. He was California State Player of the Year.

As a pitcher, Hancock had a 15-0 record, a 0.56 earned run average, and 155 strikeouts in 85 innings. His team was ranked second in the nation and Hancock was named Northern California Player of the Year.

Hancock was recruited heavily not only by BYU, but Stanford, Miami, Texas A&M and just about every other college. Then rumors spread.

"I heard that since I was a Mormon and my parents went to BYU that I was all set to go there," Hancock said. "It all fit like a puzzle to them. So everybody else gave up on me. BYU was always my top choice, but I would have liked to have at least have had a choice."

The rumors didn't stop there either. Not many colleges recruited him for baseball and several major-league teams called him before the baseball draft asking if the rumors were true.

"A lot of people told me that if I said I won't play football, I'd get a lot of money," Hancock said. "I had a summer-league coach who was a scout himself and he'd always say to call the other scouts and tell them I'm not going to play football to see how much money I would get.

"But I just couldn't do that. I couldn't lie to them. At first I was thinking what might happen if I said I wasn't sure I was playing football, but I couldn't even do that.

"I was tempted, though, because I wanted to know what might have happened if I wasn't playing football. People have told me I would have gone in the first or second round and that was good enough for me."

The Angels just couldn't pass up on Hancock and his 93-mph fastball and ended up drafting him in the 14th round.

"I told them that if they came up with $180,000 then I would sign, but I knew they wouldn't do that. Maybe I was using them to make the decision for me," Hancock said. "The Angels were really nice about it. They just said, if it wasn't the right thing for me, don't be afraid to say no."

So Hancock said no.

Of course, there was another option. Hancock could have signed with the Angels and still played football for BYU.

"I would have been gone all the time, from school to the minors to school to the minors with no real breaks," Hancock said. "Maybe that way I could have everything, but I would have missed a lot of the fun of growing up. I thought maybe playing football and baseball would be tough, but I'm still having fun."

It also makes things easier that baseball coach Gary Pullins has a good working relationship with football coach Lavell Edwards.

"If I can get players like Ryan I'll recruit every day of the year for him (Edwards)," Pullins said. "Football got him here and football is going to keep him here, so it's not going to hurt my feelings if football is No. 1 with him."

In fact, once Pullins told one of his baseball players to just concentrate on football.

"I was very glad when he listened to me and chose football," Pullins said. "I have to admit I did that to save myself a lot of agony. That guy was a nut."

And that player? Jim McMahon.

Pullins sees a lot of McMahon in Hancock, but only on the field.

"He's the same kind of competitor as Jim was, but he's just wrapped up in a much nicer package," Pullins said. "Ryan is so competitive that sometimes we just have to slow him down. When he's at football practice, it's snap the ball and pass it. Our quarterbacks don't ever hand off to anybody, so when he's practicing with us, we have to take it easy on him. We don't want that right arm to get tired."

So Hancock has been used mostly in relief, and is living up to the advanced billing by Baseball America, which rated him the 14th best freshman in the nation. In 10 innings, Hancock has struck out 24 batters and, more impressively, opponents are hitting .091 against Hancock.

"I know that I have been taking a gamble by waiting, but I think this can only help me the next time. The money is still going to be there."

The next time will be in two years when Hancock is a junior and eligible for the baseball draft again. He also would have finished his sophomore season in football, and if he's starting quarterback for BYU, it can only add to his leverage - as if he needed any.