Josh is one of the few people who was able to play professionally in 2 sports. His football career spanned 7 years as he spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders. However his first experience in pro sports was in baseball, being drafted 5th overall by the Florida Marlins. He grew up in a football loving family with his dad having played at Mississippi State University. He always loved baseball though and his dad always honored his love for the game. His dad was a pioneer of football having implemented the passing attack, up-tempo style offence to Evangel Christian Academy. He was even responsible for starting the football program there while Josh was in grade 8, so one year before he would eventually play there. It was a quarterback’s dream, an offence that threw the ball all the time, played with 4 & 5 wide receiver sets and played fast. He got to play from his freshman year and put up some amazing stats. He was equally good in baseball and his senior season was so good that he was drafted 5th overall in the 1994 draft.
Knowing the toll that football can have on a person’s body his dad kind of encouraged him to pursue baseball. His agent used his football potential as leverage in negotiations and was able to get him a huge record signing bonus at the time. It was tough initially adjusting to life in pro baseball. having to use a wooden bat was not easy for him. But he did eventually adjust and played well enough to spend time in the Big Leagues with the Marlins. A freak play at 3rd base caused him to miss time with an injured thumb. After recovering from that, the team was going to put him with the Triple A team. Not wanting to go back to the minors, he embarked on a return to football. His brother was playing at LSU and he wanted to join him there so he chose to go the LSU. It was a very difficult transition for him. First, he had to go back to the football level of training which was tough. Also, the style of offence they had was a run first, old-school offence which was nothing like the high powered system he played under with his dad in high school. So that turned into a frustrating year for him. The next season, Nick Saban took over the program and things improved dramatically for him. After his 2nd season he had high hopes of being drafted early in the NFL draft. And after receiving a call from owner Jerry Jones who stated that the Cowboys would draft him early in the draft, his confidence was solidified.
However they didn’t draft him, instead going with Quincy Carter. He was shocked and disappointed that he slipped all the way to the 6th round to the Seahawks. They had a crowed quarterback room and led to him being picked up by Cleveland. He served as Tim Couch’s back-up for the majority of his career. He got a second shot at baseball through the MLB reality show, “The Next Knuckler.” He won the show which was comprised of former football players, including Doug Flutie. That garnered him a shot with the Arizona Diamondbacks in their spring training. However the Marlins still had his rights, and they could not come to terms on compensation so that terminated that opportunity. He’s now involved in many different business endeavors and in addition to that his own podcast on the Bleav Podcast Network covering LSU Football. Follow the links below to connect with Josh and see what he’s involved with.
After the Gridiron: Interview With Retired NFL and MLB Player Josh Booty – The Grueling Truth The Grueling Truth Radio
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