Athletic Recruiting Baseball Recruiting Responsibility Sport Specific

How I Got To Play Division I Baseball

play division i baseball by practicing hard even when no one is watching

(Flickr – Yi Chen)

The following post is by Adam Nemo, a new head baseball recruiting coach at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. Adam, who was able to play Division I baseball at Ohio State University, worked for the Milwaukee Brewers organization and has coached baseball at collegiate and high school levels in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I want to help some of the NCSA Baseball student-athletes out there get to know me better and give you some insight into my experiences with college baseball recruiting by telling you about how I went through the college process. In the end, I went on to play at Ohio State University, but it was a long path to get there.

You never know who is watching.

The story of how Ohio State came to recruit me is a story that every prospective college athlete should hear. It is a true testament to a statement that student-athletes always hear from their parents, coaches and even college coaches: “You never know who is going to be watching.”

I went into the spring of my senior year with the comfort of knowing that I had several Division II and III schools that I was very happy with, so I was relaxed and was able to have a great spring. About halfway through the spring, the recruiting coordinator from Ohio State came up to watch one of our practices. But he didn’t tell me he was coming, he didn’t contact my coach and I had no idea he was coming. He called the school office and asked what time we were practicing outside and made all the arrangements himself.

We had a building down the right field line at our high school field that housed the weight room, locker rooms and bathrooms for the athletic facilities. When he arrived, he hid behind the corner of that building and just watched our practice that day.

He wanted to see what I did when I didn’t think anyone was watching.

Luckily for me, I was a high-energy guy and always hustling, practicing hard and never just going through the motions.

After a while, he walked down to the dugout and talked to our coach. He asked if he could see me behind the plate and we did a short intrasquad so that he could watch me catch and get a few at-bats. After practice, he introduced himself and we talked briefly before he left.

Then a couple weeks passed without any communication.

A couple of weeks passed and I hadn’t heard back from the assistant coach at Ohio State. So the weekend before our season ended, Miami (OH) called and asked me to come up for a visit to campus. They had noticed me at their camp and kept track of me in the spring. They offered me a preferred walk-on spot to come on as a pitcher and I was so enamored with playing in a Division I program that I called them after the car ride home and told them that I was coming.

I had a big Miami Redhawk on my cake at my graduation party and was all set to go there.

But about a week after I graduated, the coach from Ohio State called and invited me to come down for a visit. They had won their Regional and were getting ready for Super-Regionals, so things had been busy. I watched a practice at Bill Davis Stadium two days before their first Super-Regional, met with the other coaches briefly and went on a tour of the campus.

adam_nemoHe offered me a preferred walk-on spot and I accepted it on the spot. I knew it was where I wanted to go and I wanted to challenge myself by playing with and against the best competition.

I didn’t know that the recruiting coordinator from Ohio State was going to come watch a random practice at my high school in the middle of the season. But that’s what he wanted to see – what is this kid like when he doesn’t know anyone is watching?

You should always do the right thing from the time you arrive to the field until the time you leave.

You never know who is going to be watching you get off the bus. You never know who is going to be watching you warm up. You never know who is going to see if you are hustling on and off the field. You never know who is going to watch how you are with your teammates on the bench. You never know who is going to show up at a random practice, hide around the corner and see what you do when you don’t think anyone is watching.

You can always get more recruiting tips and advice from baseball scouts and recruiting coaches like Adam. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.