Huskers Announce Talented 2014 Signing Class
Lincoln - Nebraska baseball Head Coach Darin Erstad announced of the signing of nine future Huskers on Monday. The nine-member class will join the Huskers for the 2015 season.
The class contains eight players that are ranked in the top 1,000 by Perfect Game, including five top-500 prospects and three top-300 players, highlighted by Nebraska native Jakson Reetz, who is ranked as the No. 28 recruit in the country. Six of the prep standouts are regarded as top-15 players in their state, including four who are tabbed as a top-five prospects.
“First off, I want to thank Recruiting Coordinator Ted Silva and Associate Head Coach Will Bolt for their tireless efforts putting together our 2014 class,” Head Coach Darin Erstad said. “They put together the No. 11 ranked recruiting class ranked by Baseball America in 2013 and when it is all said and done the 2014 class will have the potential to be just as good. The 2014 class is a very physical group who will all be ready to play the day they set foot on campus. We are always looking for student-athletes who are going to be great teammates and fit into our style of play. This entire class has the ‘empty the tank’ mentality that is essential to success in life. We are very excited about the potential of this group.”
Spanning six states from coast-to-coast, the class is led by three Nebraska products, while two future Huskers hail from Missouri along with one recruit each from California, Kansas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Elijah Dilday | OF | 6-1 | 195
(St. Charles, Mo. | Francis Howell HS)
Elijah Dilday has one season left at Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, Mo., where he was named a Perfect Game Honorable-Mention Underclass All-American prior to the 2013 season • Hit .432 as a junior with 51 hits, including 17 doubles, three triples and eight home runs in 118 at bats • Notched 44 RBIs and scored 41 runs • Tabbed as the No. 270 overall prospect in the county, including the 58th-best outfielder in the nation • Named the No. 5 overall player in the state of Missouri and the No. 2 outfielder in the state • Played for the St. Louis Pirates at both the 2013 PG WWBA World Championships in Jupiter, Fla., and the PG WWBA Kernels Foundation Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa • Shined for the St. Louis Mets at the eight-team 2013 Metropolitan Baseball Classic, hosted at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. • Was joined on the team by fellow signees Zack Engelken and Reece Eddins • Went 4-for-5 over the final two games of the tournament with a pair of triples to help the Mets to a fifth-place finish • Throws with his right hand, but hits left handed.
“Elijah brings a difference making left-handed bat to Nebraska,” Erstad said. “He has power to all fields and has the potential to hit for a high average. He’s athletic enough to play all outfield positions as well as any infield position. He is a tremendous kid who will not be outworked by anyone.”
Reece Eddins | RHP | 6-5 | 195
(Lee’s Summit, Mo. | Blue Springs South HS)
6-5 right-hander Reece Eddins will join the Huskers from Blue Springs South High School in Lee’s Summit, Mo., where he was a 2013 Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable-Mention pick • Named the team’s MVP as a junior, while also earning the squad’s Top Pitcher and Top Hitter awards • A top-500 prospect in the country by Perfect Game, he was tabbed as a top-200 right-handed pitcher in the country and the 12th-best player in the state of Missouri • Named the No. 2 right-handed pitching recruit in the state by Prep Baseball Report and the No. 6 overall player in the state • Recently competed at the PG WWBA World Championships in Jupiter, Fla., for Marucci Elite • Helped the squad defeat Puerto Rico by throwing 2.0 innings of scoreless relief • Competed at the 2013 Metropolitan Baseball Classic at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., for the St. Louis Mets and was joined on the team by fellow signees Elijah Dilday and Zack Engelken.
“Reece is a tall right hander with tremendous upside,” Erstad said. “He has a good feel for the strike zone with a three- pitch mix. He is just starting to see all his hard work pay off and will only continue to get better as he has a fantastic work ethic.”
Zack Engelken | RHP | 6-4 | 200
(Overland Park, Kan. | Blue Valley West)
A product of Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kan., Zack Engelken has been named a top-300 overall recruit in the country and the No. 94 right-handed pitcher in the nation by Perfect Game • Tabbed as the No. 5 overall recruit in the state of Kansas, Engelken earned 2013 Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable-Mention honors • Pitched this past summer at both the 2013 PG WWBA 17U National Championships and the 18U National Championships, both in Marietta, Ga. • Picked up the win at the 2012 PG WWBA Underclass World Championships in Ft. Myers, Fla., for Marucci Elite with 5.0 innings of shutout work on the mound • Competed at the 2013 Metropolitan Baseball Classic at Citi Field in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., for the St. Louis Mets and was joined on the team by fellow signees Elijah Dilday and Reece Eddins.
“Zack brings to Lincoln a solid three-pitch mix with a very good breaking ball,” Erstad said. “There is definitely more in the tank and we look forward to seeing him develop and compete during his career at Nebraska.”
Byron Hood | RHP/INF | 6-1 | 170
(Roca, Neb. | Norris HS)
Byron Hood from Roca, Neb., is one of two players to sign with the Huskers from Norris High School, joining Jakson Reetz • Hood named a 2012 Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable-Mention All-American and a 2013 Perfect Game Underclass Second-Team All-American • A top-350 national recruit by Perfect Game, Hood has been tabbed as the No. 2 overall recruit in the state, behind Reetz, and the No. 116 overall right-handed pitching recruit in the country • Was the winning pitcher for Norris in the 2013 Class B state title game, after the Titans finished runner-up in 2012 • Was 6-0 as a junior in 2013 with a 0.97 ERA and 62 strikeouts • Enters his senior season with 16 career victories and 155 strikeouts • Named to both the 2013 Lincoln Journal Star Super State team and Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska squad.
“Byron has loads of potential,” Erstad said. “He has an electric arm and as he continues to learn how to pound the strike zone with his fastball, he will only get better. We look forward to having him stay close to home to play for the Huskers!”
Garett King | RHP | 6-3 | 180
(Anaheim, Calif. | Orange Country Lutheran HS)
The Nebraska coaching staff was able to pull 6-3 right-hander Garett King away from Anaheim, Calif., to Hawks Field • Has one season remaining at Orange County Lutheran High School • Helped the Lancers to a runner-up finish in the Trinity League in 2013 after the team won the title in 2012 • Lancers were ranked No. 1 in the country during the 2012 season • Has a career record of 10-4 with a 0.56 ERA in 100 innings over 21 games • Posted 71 strikeouts to 21 walks • Tabbed as the No. 35 right-handed pitcher in the state of California by Perfect Game and a top-300 pitcher in the country • Was a 2013 Perfect Game Underclass High Honorable-Mention All-America pick • Was in Jupiter, Fla., last month for the 2013 PG WWBA World Championships with Team Evoshield.
“Garett is a strike throwing machine,” Erstad said. “He has a very advanced knowledge of how to attack hitters. His velocity will continue to improve as he gets stronger and the sky is the limit for this Southern-California Husker.”
Jake McSteen | LHP | 6-0 | 190
(Great Falls, Va. | Langley HS)
Left-handed pitcher Jake McSteen will join the Nebraska baseball team following his senior season at Langley High School in Great Falls, Va., where he was named a 2013 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable-Mention All-American • Regarded as a top-1,000 recruit in the nation by Perfect Game, including the No. 129 left-handed pitcher in the country • Ranked as the No. 39 overall player in the state of Virginia, including the No. 3 left-handed pitcher • Competed at both the PG WWBA 17U and 18U National Championships this past summer for Demarini Stars Black in Marietta, Ga. • Huskers have never had a letterwinner from the state of Virginia.
“Jake decided to become part of the Husker family all the way from Virginia,” Erstad said. “Husker Nation has no boundaries! Jake will bring with him a ferocious attitude on the mound and a great feel of all his pitches from the left side.”
Jacob Meyers | OF/LHP | 5-10 | 165
(Omaha, Neb. | Westside HS)
One of three in-state commits sign with the Huskers, Jacob Meyers is joined by Norris High School products Byron Hood and Jakson Reetz • Meyers look to lead Omaha Westside to a second straight Class A state title in 2014 after the Warriors beat Millard South in the 2013 title game, 8-0 • Selected as a first-team member of the Omaha World-Herald’s All-Nebraska squad as a junior after hitting .442 with 42 hits, 32 RBIs, 33 runs, 10 stolen bases, 12 doubles, five triples and two homers in 30 games • Also stared on the mound with a 4-0 record and a 2.83 ERA over 34.2 innings of work with 48 strikeouts • Throws with his left hand, but hits right handed • Father is 1986 Nebraska first-team All-American Paul Meyers.
“Jake brings the effort and attitude we are looking for here at Nebraska,” Erstad said. “He is a competitive and athletic kid who has the ability to pitch and play the outfield for the Huskers. His work ethic and fire will fit right in with what we are doing.”
Jakson Reetz | C | 6-1 | 195
(Hickman, Neb. | Norris HS)
Tabbed as the No. 2 catcher recruit in the country by Perfect Game, Jackson Reetz is one of two Norris High School products to sign with the Huskers, joining Byron Hood • Projected as the No. 28 overall recruit in the country, Reetz was a 2013 Perfect Game First-Team Underclass All-American after earning second-team honors in 2012 • Tabbed as the No. 48 overall prospect in the 2014 MLB Draft by Baseball America • Was named MVP of the 2013 Perfect Game USA All-America Game at Petco Park in August • Helped the East squad to a 8-6 win with a 2-for-4 performance, including two RBIs, a double and three of the East’s eight stolen bases • Second straight Husker signee to earn the award, as freshman Ryan Boldt took the honor in 2012 • Earned a spot on USA Baseball’s 18U National Team • First player in the state to earn a spot on the U18 team and only the second player to compete for Team USA, joining Alex Gordon (2004 National Team) • Competed at the IBAF AAA/18U World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan, helping Team USA win back-to-back titles after not winning a world title since 1999 • Scored the game-tying run in the championship game after starting a rally with a two-out double, his fourth double of the tournament • Named to the 2013 Lincoln Journal Star Super State team and the captain of the 2013 Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska team as a junior after hitting .444 with 49 RBIs on 32 hits and 13 stolen bases hits in 28 games • Was 2-0 on the mound and didn’t allow an earned run all year, while holding opponents to a .126 batting average • Earned a save in the Class B state title game to seal the Titans’ 3-2 win over Lincoln Pius X • Father, Andy, played football at Nebraska in the early 1990s.
“Jakson is a tremendous young man on and off the field,” Erstad said. “His athletic ability is well known, but I am more impressed with his character and work ethic. He has the ability to play anywhere on the field and pitch on the mound.”
Scott Schreiber | INF/RHP | 6-3 | 215
(Menasha, Wis. | Kimberly HS)
Scott Schreiber will join the Huskers from Kimberly High School in Menasha, Wis. • First Wisconsin native to sign with the Huskers since Marcellus Dawson (Milwaukee, Wis.) was a member of Nebraska’s 2002 College World Series team • Top-1,000 overall recruit in the nation by Perfect Game, including the No. 13 overall recruit in the state of Wisconsin • Named Gatorade Player of the Year and Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year following his junior season • Was 10-0 with a 0.86 ERA, notching 57 strikeouts and allowing just seven earned runs all season over 57 innings of work • Produced a .531 average at the plate, with 34 hits, including eight doubles, two triples and six homers • Also scored 32 runs, stole eight bases and drove in 37 runs • Recently led Kimberly to the WIAA Division 2 state football title with a 51-10 win over Oshkosh North • Accounted for five touchdowns, including four on the ground • Ran for 100 yards on 12 carries, while going 9-of-12 for 154 yards and one score through the air.
“Scott is exactly what we are looking for in a student-athlete,” Erstad said. “He has tremendous upside once he devotes all his time to baseball. He’s an infielder who will pitch and will bring a power bat from the right side to Lincoln.”