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Eighth grader Beau Peterson commits to Nebraska baseball

Eighth grader Beau Peterson commits to Nebraska baseball

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Nebraska has landed a commitment from a baseball prospect it believes can be a major part of its future.

In this case, that future is five years away.

Class of 2026 infielder and pitcher Beau Peterson on Tuesday announced his pledge to the Huskers on Instagram, a week after his 14th birthday. A whirlwind sequence that began with a red-hot July on the summer recruiting trail ended Monday when the family told coaches they wanted to lock in the decision.

“Yeah, man, it’s life-changing,” Beau’s father, David Peterson, told The World-Herald. “It’s been emotional around here.”

The Petersons, who live in Overland Park, Kansas, saw Beau break out on a national stage during the summer. Facing some of the best talent his age at the BCS National Championship event in Florida, Beau went 15 for 18 while also dominating on the mound. News that his fastball was touching 86 mph circulated on social media, and some Nebraska alumni alerted Husker coach Will Bolt and his staff.

Since college coaches can’t reach out to families of players that young, David Peterson called them. Beau attended NU’s prospect camp last Saturday. By Sunday the middle schooler had an offer.

“I didn’t think he was going to tell me they were ready to offer him a full ride to come now,” Peterson said. “I wasn’t expecting that. So it was very emotional. We were bawling. It’s a crazy story.”

While Nebraska was the first to pull the trigger, other top-level college programs had been circling. Arkansas had shown regular interest. And Beau’s other finalists were Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

“Doesn’t stop now,” Beau wrote in part on Instagram. “I need to keep working and keep my ground and fit in. Let’s dance, Huskers!”

NU’s willingness to allow Beau to be a two-way player clinched the deal, the elder Peterson said. Nebraska has found success with such players recently including shortstop/closer Spencer Schwellenbach — college baseball’s two-way player of the year in the spring — and Jake Meyers before that.

Peterson bats left-handed and throws righty, measuring 6-foot and 180 pounds now. His father said there was no reason to keep the recruiting process going when all of Beau’s boxes were checked.

“Don’t need to wait; he got what he wanted,” Peterson said. “Nebraska’s great. Why wait? Nebraska had the No. 1 recruiting class in the Big Ten this year, and my kid wants to play in the (College) World Series. That’s the goal, and he feels like he can do that there.”

Beau Peterson will play in the 13U Select Festival on Aug. 29 in Norman, Oklahoma, in an All-American event featuring 36 of the best players in the country that will be televised by CBS Sports.

Peterson is almost certainly the youngest prospect ever to commit to Nebraska baseball. Bolt’s staff also accepted a commit from a Texas two-way prospect in October 2019 who was a 15-year-old freshman at the time and later flipped to Baylor.

Nebraska currently has four 2023 commits and none in the 2024 or 2025 cycles.

“It’s kind of crazy,” David Peterson said. “He’s only in eighth grade.”

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