LINCOLN — Nebraska recruit Wes Edrington was in the batting cage nearly two years ago when a high school assistant coach spotted him. One swing revealed the potential.
Edrington had just transferred to Hamilton Southeastern in Fishers, Ind. He was a bit scrawny back then. Scott Henson didn’t know what to expect.
Then Henson saw the baseball jumping off Edrington’s bat.
“I looked at one of the other assistant coaches, and I said, ‘This kid right here’s pretty good,’” said Henson, now Hamilton Southeastern’s head baseball coach. “The bat speed that he had (through the zone) was just phenomenal.”
Add in Edrington’s defensive ability — he’s known to pick off unsuspecting base runners casually rounding first base after sharp singles to left field — and Henson’s not surprised that the talented shortstop plans to enroll at Nebraska next spring with the intention of immediately competing for playing time.
Edrington is one of 13 players who signed letters of intent to form the Huskers’ 2013 recruiting class, announced Monday. But unlike the other prospects in the group, Edrington is on track to graduate high school in December, forgo his MLB draft eligibility and join the NU program in two months.
Edrington is the No. 375 overall recruit nationally and the sixth-best prospect in Indiana, according to Perfect Game.
“He could come in and play right away,” Henson said. “He’s only going to get better.”
The same could presumably be said for almost all of Nebraska’s signees, 12 of whom are high schoolers.
It’s a recruiting class that’s built differently than last year’s group, which was assembled in haste because NU coach Darin Erstad and his staff were hired in June and left to canvass the junior college circuit for talent (only one of six signees was a high school senior).
Nebraska has clearly emphasized the Midwest ever since, signing four high school players from Minnesota, two from Iowa and Colorado, and one each from Indiana, Illinois and Kansas. Outfielder Quinn McGill, out of Wahoo, is the only in-state recruit in the class. The lone junior college recruit, Christian Cox, is a pitcher at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.
“We are tremendously excited about our first whole recruiting class,” Erstad said in a statement. “We are very excited about this athletic group. Top to bottom, I can’t image having a stronger group of young men not only on the field, but in the classroom as well.”
Outfielder Ryan Boldt, from Red Wing, Minn., is the mostly highly regarded of the bunch. He’s the No. 40 overall prospect in the 2013 MLB draft, according to Baseball America. Perfect Game ranked Boldt No. 20 among 2013 recruits. He’s also the cousin of Pat Kelly, a sophomore second baseman for NU.
Nebraska lost two recruits to the MLB draft last June — outfielder Justin Black and pitcher Matt Strahm.
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