Log out Log In Sign Up

The huddle

July 9, 2015

Mike White Exclusive

Save to my locker

College: Louisville

Class: Senior

Hometown: East Orange, NJ

High School: Salisbury

MW: Best accomplishment would be going to Omaha for two consecutive years, and looking to make it three straight after this year.

What was the recruiting experience like for a nationally competitive baseball team?

Recruiting at Louisville is highly competitive as you would imagine. They do most of their recruiting out in the Midwest, thus I was fortunate enough to be seen by them at a national tournament in Atlanta, and again in California later that same summer. They are typically known for recruiting big time pitchers, however my class had a good mix of premiere pitchers as well as nationally ranked hitters.

What’s something high school recruits and transfer student-athletes should keep in mind during the recruiting process?

College coaches are simply salesmen. They will all tell you what you want to hear and sell the school as if it were heaven itself. However, keeping in mind your goals outside of baseball like degree programs and work opportunities are essential as well. Make sure you have decent awareness of the other players they are bringing in with your recruiting class. You don’t want to be one of five middle infielders coming in all in the same year because unless you are the next best thing, you will be fighting for your life.

How did you handle the transition from high school baseball to the Division 1 level and what advice do you have for soon-to-be freshmen to adapt at that level?

It took me a while to adapt to the Louisville Baseball way, however once I caught on it was easy. The biggest adjustment for me was playing FAST. Everyone is going to play hard, but our emphasis from the time I was a freshman up until now has been playing faster and harder than your opponent. The goal is for a team to leave and be amazed by how fast and hard we played. My advice would be to start training yourself at the high school level to just play at a different speed than anyone else. It will make you stand out on its own, and your talent will do the rest. Also, I would definitely begin to establish an intense workout regimen because workouts will kick your butt if you aren’t really used to lifting hard. Plus, you want to be bigger and stronger than the rest of the freshman, it never hurts to be a leg or two up.

After going through the experience once, what would you do differently if you were back in high school in regards to the recruiting process?

If I were back in high school, I would’ve made a better effort to get recruited as a two-sport athlete; Baseball and Football. I really began to blossom as a football player my junior year of high school and by senior year, I was receiving lots of interest from schools. The problem for me was I had already committed to Louisville in the summer and my parents were not very big fans of football. However, I should not have let that completely influence my decision because being a two-sport athlete definitely can be rewarding. The risk of injury can happen at any level of college athletics, and in any sport. So if I could do it all again, I would not concern myself too much on the possibility of getting hurt in football and not being able to play baseball, or vice versa. But rather, Just give it a shot and if it works out than the sky’s the limit.

What made Louisville a good fit for you? Would you choose UL again if you had the chance?

I was very impressed with the program here at Louisville, and the way the city regarded Louisville athletics. What makes Louisville so special is that it’s a pretty large, upcoming urban city with no professional sports team. Therefore all there is to root for is Louisville, and fans embrace it wholeheartedly. That really fired me up and I knew it would be an awesome environment to play in. I also liked that Louisville was a bit more southern although not necessarily in the south, but being from New York the allure of warmer weather was enticing. If I had the chance to do it over, I would definitely have taken more time to consider my options and visited some more schools first. In some ways I feel like I rushed myself because I did not want to be dealing with recruiting during my last football season. However, I could have made more time for it my junior summer, but summer baseball kind of took over my life. I would definitely prioritize a little better if I could turn back the clock.

If Locker Room Talk was available as a resource to you in high school during the recruiting process, do you think you would find it useful?

I think it would’ve been very helpful to hear from other baseball players at major universities just to see what their experience was like, however I think that nowadays so many athletes have friends or know someone that plays in college, so a lot of the time you will find word of mouth to be the more sought after resource.

Did it take a long time to adjust to the different cultural down south as opposed to life in the northeast?

The culture shock was not nearly as drastic as one would imagine. Like I said before, Louisville is definitely more southern from New York obviously, however, it is more of an urban, up-in-coming city therefore it doesn’t really have much of a southern feel. Some parts of Louisville, however are very country feeling so that was definitely interesting to see, but other than that I didn’t feel completely isolated or lost at all.

One thing high school students don’t think about is the traveling aspect of college athletics. Has the traveling from home to school taken a toll on you? And what effect has traveling from college to college for each game on your college experience?

Traveling from home to school isn’t terrible for me. No, it is not the most appealing drive in the world, however I don’t really get to make it home often as it is, so at best I’m doing that trip once or twice a year. Otherwise I’m flying home and it’s a relatively quick flight. Traveling during the season is virtually a breeze. I am fortunate enough to be at a university with a very large athletic budget, therefore we always travel comfortably and rarely drive unless it is somewhat of a local game. I would say the only challenging part about traveling is keeping up with your school work at the same time. If you can master that part, then traveling will not be stressful for you at all.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE