Bloomington, Ind. - Indiana University head baseball coach Bob Morgan has announced the signing of eight high school senior standouts to national letters of intent to play at IU beginning in 2004. The class includes five players from the state of Indiana.
We really feel good about this class, Morgan said. Weve signed eight players, four very good pitchers, two outfielders and two infielders, who are going to address our needs for next year. Its a strong class that will make contributions to Indiana University and more specifically to the baseball program.
Here's a look at the newest Hoosier baseball players:
Byron Banks II
Left-Handed Pitcher 5-10 Bellwood, Ill. Proviso East HS
Plays for Glenn Lid at Proviso East HS ... An All-Conference and All-Regional Selection ... Selected the Most Valuable Player on his team ... Also posted the lowest ERA on the club ... Plays in the outfield in addition to his pitching duties for his high school team ... A defensive back and wide receiver on the football team as well.
Coach Morgan on Byron Banks:
I look for Byron to make an immediate impact. He has a chance to be in our starting rotation right away. He was highly recruited and we are glad to obtain his services.
Byron Banks On Choosing IU:
I choose IU, because it's a place where I think I'll be most comfortable as a student-athlete. I felt that I can come in as a freshman and help IU to win a Big Ten and National Championship. Most of all, I picked Indiana because the coaches and players are real fun people to be around."
Plays for D.J. Austin at Richmond HS ... A high school teammate of fellow Hoosier signee Tony Tevis ... Pitched in the 2001 IHSSA sectional and regional championship games ... An All-North Central Conference selection ... Invited to play in the IHSBCA Showcase as a junior ... Played his summer ball for the Indiana Mustangs ... An honor roll student ... Played point guard on Richmonds basketball team.
Coach Morgan on Doug Fleenor:
Doug is a very good right-handed pitcher and a great competitor on the mound. He possesses an above average fast ball and an outstanding breaking ball. He really loves the game of baseball. We look forward to having him join our program.
Doug Fleenor On Choosing IU: I chose Indiana because of the Kelly School of Business and for the opportunity to play for Coach Morgan in the Big Ten Conference.
Rashard Graves Outfielder 6-2 Indianapolis, Ind. Lawrence Central HS
Plays for Dan Roman at Lawrence Central ... A first-team All-County pick ... Named to the All-Conference team ... Led his high school team in batting average (.413), RBIs (37) and stolen bases (28) as a junior ... Also hit six home runs ... All-State Honorable Mention ... Named to the Indianapolis Star North Team ... Teamed with fellow Hoosier signees Tony Tevis and Adam Sanborn on the Indiana Bulls summer team that won the 2001 NABF National Championship ... Also a two-year letterwinner in basketball.
Coach Morgan on Rashard Graves:
Rashard is the top outfielder in the state of Indiana and we are excited about his decision to play at IU. Hopefully hell follow the line of outstanding centerfielders weve had here. Hes a complete player who can hit, throw and run. He should contribute immediately.
Rashard Graves On Choosing IU:
I just felt that Indiana was the best program for me, not only athletically, but academically and socially.
Third Baseman 6-3 Mundelein, Ill. Mundelein HS
Plays for Todd Parola at Mundelein HS ... A Lake County All-Area and All-North Suburban Conference selection ... Named to the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Tournament Team ... In 2002, hit .360 with 40 RBIs and nine home runs ... Also plays basketball ... A National Honors Society member ... Played in high school with current Hoosier freshman catcher Chris Hynes.
Coach Morgan On Michael Nilles:
Mike is a very good third baseman and can play shortstop if need be. He has great size. With the loss of Vasili Spanos after this coming season, we look for him to have a definite chance to fill that need. He has great strength, is an outstanding hitter and a good defensive third baseman who will be a very good Big Ten player.
Michael Nilles on Choosing IU:
I chose IU because it has a great college atmosphere. The guys and the coaches were also what I was looking for in a college baseball program.
Plays for John MacDonald at Montgomery Blair HS ... A member of Cissel Saxon team that captured the Maryland American Legion State Championship ... Hit .465 for during the legion season ... Selected to the All-County Team as a sophomore and junior ... Has also earned varsity letters in basketball and golf.
Coach Morgan On Josh Richardson
Josh is an excellent defensive infielder and can play at either shortstop or second base. Hes a left-handed hitter and possesses a strong arm. He will give us depth in the middle of the infield. Josh is an outstanding young man and a good student who will be successful at IU.
Josh Richardson On Choosing IU:
"I really love the campus and on my official visit I had a great time meeting and getting to know the players and the coaches."
A three-year letterwinner and two-time All-Conference selection at DeKalb HS ... Pitched a No-Hitter against the states No. 1 team ... A teammate of fellow IU signees Tony Tevis and Rashard Graves on the Indiana Bulls summer team that captured the NABF National Championship in 2001 ... Active in several student civic organizations at DeKalb.
Coach Morgan on Adam Sanborn: We are really excited about Adams decision to attend IU. He is one of the top left-handed pitchers in the state. A very mature young man, Adam can contribute right away.
Outfield Richmond, Ind. Richmond HS
A three-year letterwinner for D.J. Austin at Richmond HS ... A prep teammate of fellow Hoosier signee Doug Fleenor ... Selected MVP of the team ... Earned the Scholar-Athlete Award ... Also named All -North Central Conference ... Has also played basketball and football in high school ... Competed for the Indiana Bulls summer team with fellow signees Adam Sanborn and Rashard Graves.
Coach Morgan On Tony Tevis: Tony is a very gifted athlete whose best days are ahead of him. He can run and throw and he has excellent bat speed. Tony has a tremendous upside and can possibly help on the mound also.
Tony Tevis On Choosing IU:
The reason I chose Indiana is because they are a great program. When they are interested in people they recruit them hard. Also, the main reason is because I can go there and get a great education, especially in Accounting.