KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (utsports.com) -- The University of Tennessee baseball program and Head Coach Todd Raleigh announced the signing of 14 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Monday. Highlighting the class are eight players from the state of Tennessee.
“This is the biggest class I’ve ever been a part of,” UT Head Coach Todd Raleigh said. “It feels like we signed a football class, but we are really excited about it. It shows the hard work of (assistant coaches) Ash Lawson and Jason Beverlin. They did a tremendous job identifying talent to fit our needs and going after them. It’s not easy to sign one guy, let alone 14. The thing I am most excited about is the athleticism this class brings in and how we were able to address our needs for next year.”
The players hail from seven different states with 11 coming from the high school ranks and four currently attending junior colleges. In addition to the eight in-state players, the talented group also includes two from Georgia and one each from Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio and Virginia.
“We’ve talked about this since I got here, but recruiting in-state kids is very important,” Raleigh said. “It has to mean a lot to wear ‘Tennessee’ on the front of your jersey. It is important for us to take care of the homeland and I feel our coaches have done a tremendous job of really going after the best kids in the state since I’ve been here.”
One common trait among the majority of this year’s signees is the ability to play multiple sports. Of the 14 players, seven have played high school football, including four quarterbacks, and six have lettered in basketball. The group also includes a wrestler, a track star, a hockey player and a bowler.
“This is the most athletic class we’ve signed by far,” Raleigh said. “Almost every single one of these kids is a multi-sport player. We like that. We don’t just need baseball players, we need athletes and these kids have learned how to win. Everybody wants to win, but we want players who don’t like to lose. There is a big difference between those two things and these kids who play a lot of different sports get that. Quarterbacks are leaders, basketball players learn how to play together, wrestling shows toughness. I know I’ve already said this, but we have a lot of athleticism in this class.”
For the most up-to-date information on Tennessee baseball, visit UTSports.com or follow @VolBaseball on Twitter.
2010 TENNESSEE BASEBALL SIGNEES
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. B/T Hometown (School)
Jared Allen OF 6-2 220 R/R Delano, Tenn. (Polk County HS)
Mookie Betts INF 5-9 160 R/R Nashville, Tenn. (Overton HS)
Samuel Davis RHP 6-0 190 R/R Manchester, Tenn. (Columbia State CC)
David Horne RHP/3B 6-4 220 R/R Columbia, Tenn. (Columbia Central HS)
Will Maddox INF 5-11 180 L/R Gainesville, Ga. (Gainesville HS)
Eric Martin RHP 6-2 190 R/R Cincinnati, Ohio (Turpin HS)
Drew Masingale RHP/OF 6-2 215 R/R Athens, Tenn. (McMinn County HS)
Logan Moore C/3B 6-3 200 L/R Loveland, Colo. (Northeastern JC)
Sal Romano RHP 6-4 220 L/R Southington, Conn. (Southington HS)
Jake Rowland OF 6-1 180 L/R Decatur, Tenn. (Meigs County HS)
Blake Thomas RHP 5-11 200 R/R Milledgeville, Ga. (Gordon College)
Joseph Vanderplas LHP 6-2 215 L/L Fairfax, Va. (Fairfax HS)
Parker Wormsley INF 6-0 170 R/R Knoxville, Tenn. (Webb School)
Brandon Zajac LHP 6-4 200 L/L Cleveland, Tenn. (Walker Valley HS)
Jared Allen, OF
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