Noah Madsen stepped onto the field at Haymarket Park for the first time last weekend. The California boy had some work to do.
While Nebraska’s prospect camp mostly drew top players from around the Midwest, Madsen flew in for an opportunity in front of the Huskers coaching staff. The right-hander who grew up following Big Red from afar stood atop the mound and did what he always does, mixing three pitches and getting lots of weak contact.
“I showed off what I’ve got pitching-wise and they were all over me,” Madsen said. “I was super grateful to perform as well as I did there.”
So well, in fact, that he earned a scholarship offer from Nebraska that Saturday. He committed Monday and made it official Tuesday afternoon to become the fourth known member of the program’s 2023 class. He’s the first Californian coach Will Bolt and Co. have recruited out of high school in their two years in Lincoln.
But the thing is, Madsen considers himself “half Nebraskan.” Most of his mother’s side of the family is scattered around the state in towns like Stanton and Malcolm. The 15-year-old grew up visiting the area often and has attended plenty of Husker football games through the years.
Madsen said he had interest and offers from West Coast schools including Cal, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and Nevada. But the dream school for the kid from Roseville — a community in the Sacramento area — was in the Midwest.
“I was thinking if I get Nebraska, I’ll take it,” Madsen said. “Lucky enough, I did. I was so excited when I got it.”
NU projects Madsen as a pitcher, though other schools had considered him as a two-way option. He throws a sinking fastball hovering around the mid-80s along with a biting breaker and a diving change-up. After the pandemic limited his exposure last year he returned to action with his high school team in the spring and also plays with a travel club.
Nebraska’s other three 2023 commits are in-state players: pitcher/infielder Tucker Timmerman of Beatrice, infielder/outfielder Max Buettenback of Lincoln Southeast and pitcher Ryan Harrahill of Elkhorn North. The team has eight known commits for the 2022 cycle.