Nebraska baseball Head Coach Darin Erstad announced the Huskers’ 13-member signing class on Monday afternoon. It includes a talented group of 12 prep players and one junior-college transfer.
The 13-player signing class hails from eight different states throughout the Midwest, including a group-high four players from Minnesota. Nebraska also signed a pair of standouts from both Iowa and Colorado, while adding one future Husker each from Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and South Dakota.
Nebraska’s coaching staff assembled an athletic class, as multiple players have to ability to play multiple positions or pitch.
The class contains nine players that are ranked in the top-1,000 by Perfect Game, including a six top-500 prospects and one top-20 player. 10 of the prep standouts are regarded as top-20 players in their state, including five who are tabbed as a top-five prospects.
"We are tremendously excited about our first whole recruiting class,” Erstad said. “I can’t thank coaches (Will) Bolt and (Ted) Silva enough for the time they spent on the road to put this group together. We are very excited about this athletic group. Top to bottom, I can’t image having a stronger group of young men not only on the field, but in the classroom as well."
Ryan Boldt (Red Wing, Minn. | Red Wing HS)
Ryan Boldt joins the Huskers as a talented outfielder from Red Wing High School in Red Wing, Minn., where he plays for Head Coach Jim Bohmbach • Led Red Wing’s 2012 team to a 22-2 record and its first state tournament appearance since 1977 • Ranked as the No. 20 overall recruit and the No. 4 outfielder in the nation by Perfect Game USA • Tabbed as the No. 40 prospect in the 2013 MLB Draft by Baseball America • Was named the Most Valuable Player of the Perfect Game All-American Classic at PETCO Park in San Diego, Calif., this past summer after going 2-for-3 with a triple to lead the West squad to a 7-6 win • Earned a spot on the Team USA’s Under-18 squad in August 2012 • Was coached by former Major Leaguer and three-time World Series champion Scott Brosius • Was the first Minnesota product to earn a spot on the team since current Minnesota Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer was selected in 2000 • Competed with Team USA at the XXV IBAF Under-18 Baseball World Championships in Seoul, Korea • Helped Team USA win its first world championship at the under-18 level since 1999 with a 6-2 win over Canada in the championship game • Led all players at the 12-team event with a tournament-record 12 stolen bases and added a tournament-high 11 runs • Was the only player in the tournament to hit double figures in either category • Set a tournament single-game record with five stolen bases in a 11-1 win over Columbia • Is the cousin of Nebraska sophomore infielder Pat Kelly.
Derek Burkamper (Muscatine, Iowa | Muscatine HS)
One of two additions to the Huskers’ 2014 roster from the state of Iowa, Derek Burkamper will join NU from Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa, where he plays for Bob Leech • Named a second-team all-state pick by the Iowa Newspaper Association and the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association in 2012 • Went 8-5 as a junior with a 1.17 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 83.2 innings of work • Ranked as a top-500 overall nation recruit and the No. 159 right-handed pitching prospect in the country by Perfect Game • Named the No. 3 overall recruit in the state of Iowa • Gives Nebraska two of the Iowa’s top-five prospects, as fellow signee Ben Miller is ranked as the fifth-best recruit • Named a third-team Underclass All-American prior to the start of the 2012 season • Recently played for the Reds Midwest Scout team with fellow Huskers signee Bryce Only at the 2012 WWBA World Championships in Jupiter, Fla. • Named to the 2012 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship all-tournament team after throwing three no-hit innings with five strikeouts • Teamed with Miller to lead Iowa Select Black to a third-place finish at the 2012 Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championships in September • Opened the 2012 Iowa 4A sub-state playoffs with an 11-strikeout performance against Cedar Rapids Jefferson • Fastball hovers in the upper 80’s, while also throwing a curveball, change-up and slider.
Christian Cox (Aberdeen, S.D., | Hutchinson CC/Aberdeen Roncalli HS)
Christian Cox will join the Huskers in 2014 after playing his sophomore season at Hutchinson CC • Pitched and hit for the Blue Dragons in 2012 • Posted a 3-1 record in 34.1 innings over 10 appearances, including seven starts • Threw two complete games, including one complete-game shutout • Finished the year with a 3.67 ERA and 15 strikeouts • Was a .317 hitter with nine doubles, six triples and one home run • Added 21 RBIs and 39 runs scored in 45 games • Threat on the base paths with 14 steals in 17 attempts • Played with current Husker Tanner Lubach at Hutchinson CC • Attended high school at Aberdeen Roncalli High School in Aberdeen, S.D. • Posted a .696 batting average at the 2010 South Dakota American Legion Class A State Tournament to lead his team to a third place finish and individually Cox earned the tournament’s Big Stick Award as the player at the tournament with the highest batting average • Was the highest average in the award’s history that started in 1994 • Hit .400 as a senior with 24 doubles, five home runs and 31 stolen bases •
Wes Edrington (Fishers, Ind. | Hamilton Southeastern HS)
Wed Edrington from Fishers, Ind., is part of the 2013 signing class, but will enroll at Nebraska in January and will join the Huskers for the 2013 season • Athletic player who can play either middle-infield position for the Huskers • Posted a .402 average with 13 home runs, 68 RBIs and 44 stolen bases in three varsity seasons • Played his freshman year at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colo., before playing his sophomore and junior years at Hamilton Southeastern High School • Ranked as the No. 375 overall recruit in the country by Perfect Game • Ranked as No. 6 overall recruit in the state of Indiana • Named a second-team Underclass All-American prior to his junior season in 2012 • Plays summer ball for the Indiana Bulls, who competed at the Perfect Game WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. • One of 10 position players in the Indiana to be named all-state by ESPNHS • Played at both the 2011 and 2012 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif.
Beau Fandel (Forest Lake, Minn. | Forest Lake HS)
Beau Fandel is one of four Minnesota natives to sign with the Huskers • Dynamic player who can play anywhere on the field • Plays under Head Coach Brian Raabe at Forest Lake High School in Forest Lake, Minn. • Played on the Rangers’ 2010 and 2011 Class AAA state tournament teams • Started 81 games in three varsity seasons with a career .385 batting average and on-base percentage of .468 • Ranked as a top-1,000 national recruit and the No. 8 player in the state of Minnesota by Perfect Game • Joins fellow Husker signees Ryan Boldt (No.1) and Max Knutson (No. 3) as top-10 recruits from the state of Minnesota • Was a 2012 honorable-mention Underclass All-America selection • Competed at the 2012 Perfect Game WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship and the 2012 Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championship for the MN Starz Mizuno with fellow NU signee Matt Leuty.
Grant Gamble (Fort Collins, Colo. | Rocky Mountain HS)
6-2 lefty Grant Gamble will join the Huskers in 2014 from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colo., the same high school that produced Nebraska senior infielder Bryan Peters • One of two Colorado natives in the 2013 signing class, joining Michael Klein from Highlands Ranch, Colo. • Ranked as a top-1,000 recruit by Perfect Game and the 13th-best player in the state of Colorado • Played at the 2012 Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championships in Phoenix, Ariz., and the 2012 Perfect Game WWBA Under-18 National Championships in Marietta, Ga., for CageRat Baseball • Totaled 105 strikeouts in 69 innings of work this past summer.
Michael Klein (Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Mountain Vista HS)
Michael Klein is one of two Colorado natives to sign with the Huskers, joining Rocky Mountain High School product Grant Gamble • The 6-2 right hander will join the Huskers from Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. • Versatile player that could help NU on the mound or at the plate • Posted a .389 batting average with nine home runs and 60 runs scored in 2012 • Tabbed as the No. 20 player in the state of Colorado by Perfect Game • Was a 2011 and 2012 honorable-mention Underclass All-America selection • Was named one of the top-20 prospects at the 73-team 2012 Coach Bob Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz. • Plays summer ball for the Slammers and is coached by Cling Zavaras • Both of his parents attended the University of Nebraska • Father, Dale, earned three letters as a place kicker from the Huskers from 1984 to 1986.
Max Knutson (Arden Hills, Minn. | Mounds View HS)
6-2 lefty Max Knutson is one of four Minnesota natives to sign with the Huskers • Has one season remaining under Head Coach Jon Nuss at Mounds View High School in Arden Hills, Minn. • Plays summer baseball for the Minnesota Blizzard • Ranked as the 286th overall recruit in the country and the No. 34 left-handed pitcher by Perfect Game • Ranked as the third-best overall recruit and the No. 1 left-handed pitcher in the state of Minnesota by Perfect Game • Joins fellow Husker signees Ryan Boldt (No.1) and Beau Fandel (No. 8) as top-10 recruits from the state of Minnesota • Named a 2012 second-team Underclass All-American • Constantly throws in the mid-to-upper 80’s, while also touching the low 90’s with his fastball • Mixes in a sweeping curve ball and a change-up • Also plays football and hockey.
Matt Leuty (Shoreview, Minn. | Totino-Grace HS)
One of four Minnesota natives to be part of Nebraska’s 2013 signing class, Matt Leuty plays for Head Coach Mike Smith at Totino-Grace High School in Shoreview, Minn. • Athletic player who is capable of playing positions on the field • Tabbed as a top-1,000 recruit by Perfect Game and the No. 12 player in the state of Minnesota • Joins fellow Husker signees Ryan Boldt (No.1), Max Knutson (No. 3) and Beau Fandel (No. 8) as top-15 recruits from the state of Minnesota • Competed at multiple national tournaments, including the past two WWBA Kernels Foundation Championships and Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championships for the MN Starz Mizuno with Fandel • Helped Totino-Grace to a 16-8-1 record in 2012 and an appearance at the Class AAA state tournament.
Ben Miller (Clive, Iowa | West Des Moines Valley HS)
One of two additions to the Huskers’ 2014 roster from the state of Iowa, Ben Miller is a 6-3 lefty who could pitch or be a position player for Nebraska • Plays at West Des Moines Valley High School in Clive, Iowa • Has a career batting average of .305 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 35 RBIs • Has thrown 48 innings for the Tigers, posting a 1.63 ERA with 50 strikeouts • Ranked as a top-500 national recruit and the No. 48 left-hander pitcher in the country by Perfect Game • Tabbed as the No. 5 overall recruit in the state of Iowa and was a high-honorable mention Underclass All-American in 2012 • Teamed with fellow signee Derek Burkamper to lead Iowa Select Black to a third-place finish at the 2012 Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championships in September • Was invited to the 2012 National Showcase at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. • Had touched upper 80’s with his fastball and commands a solid change-up with late sink.
Quinn McGill (Wahoo, Neb. | Wahoo HS)
Quinn McGill is the first player from Wahoo, Neb., to join the Huskers since Matt Wagner was a freshman on NU’s 2005 College World Series team • Plays for Dustin Nilius at Wahoo High School • Was a first-team Class B selection by both the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star in 2012 after hitting .350 on the season • Led the Warriors to a 18-8 record and the No. 5 seed at the 2012 state tournament • Was a first-team All-Capital Conference selection and was the team captain of the all-conference team • Played American Legion baseball for Wahoo State Bank • Hit .438 with seven home runs, 35 RBIs, 29 runs scored and 54 stolen bases • Earned three letters in basketball and two in baseball.
Bryce Only (Algonquin, Ill. | Huntley HS)
Tabbed as the No. 18 third baseman in the country by Perfect Game, Bryce Only joins the Huskers from Huntley High School in Algonquin, Ill., where he is coached by Andy Jakubowski • Helped Huntley to a fourth place finish at the 2010 4A state tournament as a freshman • Ranked as the No. 304 overall recruit in the nation and the No. 4 recruit in the state of Illinois by Perfect Game • Earned second-team Underclass All-America honors prior to the start of the 2012 season • Recently played for the Reds Midwest Scout team with fellow Husker signee Derek Burkamper at the 2012 WWBA World Championships in Jupiter, Fla. • Named to the 2012 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship all-tournament team • Letterwinner in both baseball and basketball at Huntley.
Jake Wimer (Overland Park, Kan. | Blue Valley Northwest HS)
Jake Wimer will join the Huskers from Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan., where is coached by Corby Lange • The 6-2 lefty was limited during his junior season after pulling a ligament, but was the closer on the Huskies’ varsity team as a sophomore • Was a 2011 All-East Kansas League honorable-mention selection as a sophomore • Plays summer ball for the Kansas City Sport Club Blaze • Threw a no-hitter and a one-hitter this past summer • Committed early to Nebraska and didn’t take any other visits.