The right school came along at just the right time for Matthew Guthmiller.
His future in college baseball seemed secure heading into his senior year at Millard South after committing to Wichita State last fall. But then WSU coaches informed him they wouldn’t have any scholarship money for him because other players on their roster were returning for an additional year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“A few months ago they thought I would be okay,” Guthmiller said. “Turns out I wasn’t.”
The 2021 left-handed hitter and pitcher prospect backed off his Shocker pledge in late August with no backup plan beyond some junior-college options. Shortly after, his top choice — Nebraska — came along with a preferred walk-on offer. He accepted it Wednesday and made it public Thursday evening.
“Ever since I was a little kid growing up in Nebraska, it’s been a dream to have a chance to play for them,” Guthmiller said. “I decided I wanted to go there.”
Guthmiller is the 14th pledge to NU’s 2021 class and eighth in-state addition in the cycle. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder plays first base and pitches. He also logged extended time in the outfield this summer with Millard South’s legion team.
Guthmiller’s father, Matthew Sr., was a catcher with the Huskers in 1996. The younger Guthmiller said his father was as excited as he’s ever seen him after informing NU coaches he was in.
Millard South continues to be well represented on Nebraska’s roster. Sophomore pitcher Kyle Perry is an alum, and the team added freshman catcher Drew Wessel in the offseason. A 2022 commit, Nate Moquin, is from the high school as well.
Guthmiller’s decision is the latest evidence of NU coach Will Bolt and his staff locking down in-state talent. Of 41 players the second-year staff has signed or gotten to commit spanning five classes, 20 played high school baseball in Nebraska.
The newest addition said he was drawn to a group of coaches that care about their players and have a plan to help them succeed. That the Huskers reached out after his recent uncertainty made the decision to go to Lincoln even easier.
“I was super excited,” Guthmiller said. “It was where I wanted to be all along.”