Interest from Nebraska went a long way for Jadon Arakaki. Now the Hawaiian has decided he is willing to do the same for his future college baseball home.
The left-handed outfielder and 2021 prospect publicly committed to the Huskers on Wednesday evening following a courtship that began a few weeks ago when Nebraska coaches saw video of Arakaki. A preferred walk-on, he becomes the 13th pledge in NU’s 2021 class.
“I just felt they really wanted me because they made a move kind of fast,” Arakaki said. “I always wanted to go to a big college and experience the full college experience that everyone talks about. I think Nebraska is just that.”
Arakaki had scholarship offers elsewhere — he could have played in the Big West or Summit League, he said, declining to name the specific schools. But the more he researched the environment and fan support at Nebraska, the more intrigued he became.
Tuition is relatively affordable, he said, and the university offers his potential majors like business as well as nutrition and exercise science. Distance from home wasn’t a major consideration, though he said his hobbies of going to the beach and reef fishing can’t come with him to Lincoln.
The way Husker coaches communicated with him was different from what he’d seen elsewhere, too. Their honesty left an impression.
“They told me they probably wouldn’t have even talked to me if I wasn’t left-handed,” Arakaki said. “They were looking for a specific need there.”
The 6-foot, 175-pound Arakaki has earned a reputation around Honolulu for his blend of power and speed after first breaking out as a pitcher. He hit .478 while stealing six bases at a showcase tournament in July. He also gets in more cuts than most — his father, Jay, runs the baseball store Hawaiian Hardball, which has a batting cage his son uses for free.
Not since All-America pitcher Shane Komine in 2002 has Nebraska featured a Hawaiian on its baseball roster. Arakaki said he came to learn of Komine through the recruiting process, including the fact that their high schools are only a few miles apart on the southern tip of Oahu.
Arakaki is part of a group of 2021 NU commits that also includes a native Canadian in infielder Core Jackson and Texas left-handed pitcher Chandler Benson. It boasts seven pledges from Nebraska.
Arakaki is the 41st player to sign or commit to Nebraska spanning five classes in less than 15 months since coach Will Bolt and his staff arrived in Lincoln.
A brief look at Nebraska baseball since 2010
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