Jai Miller, a 27-year-old who played with three different MLB teams, has enrolled at Alabama and will join the football program for the upcoming season.
The 6'2, 220-pounder hasn't played football since 2003, when he was a high schooler being recruited by Alabama and Auburn. The ex-baseball player has reportedly talked with Nick Saban and will likely begin his career at the safety position.
Miller, a native of Selma, Ala., committed to Stanford out of high school until the MLB came calling, as the Florida Marlins drafted him in the fourth round. Instead of football, he took to the diamond, signing in the Marlins' minor league system.
However, his big-league career never panned out. Although the right fielder made it to the majors three times, registering 16 hits in 28 major league games for the Marlins, Kansas City Royals and Oakland A's, he never stuck with a club consistently. He was in the Baltimore Orioles' farm system this year, hitting below .200 at both Double-A and Triple-A, his worst season as a pro. Instead of continuing, he decided to return to football.
It doesn't seem as if Miller has a scholarship, so he won't count toward Alabama's limit in that department. Many ex-baseball players have returned to college football at a later age -- Chris Weinke won the Heisman Trophy at Florida State, Brandon Weeden led one of the best passing attacks in the country at Oklahoma State before being drafted -- but few reached the MLB level. Furthermore, most have been quarterbacks, a less physical position that doesn't require a transition from hitting baseballs to hitting 200-pound running backs.