Galena’s Anderson commits to Nevada
Appeal sports Editor
Jacob Anderson had plenty of options, but in the end the chance to stay at home was the deciding factor.
The Galena High senior verbally committed to play baseball for the University of Nevada on Monday night. Anderson will join one of his best friends at Nevada, a prominent athlete in his own right, Luke Babbitt, another Galena senior, who has verbally committed to play for the Wolf Pack men’s basketball team.
It’s likely the two will sign together in a signing ceremony on the first day of the fall signing period in November.
“We’re pretty much best friends,” said Anderson, who said he will room with Babbitt at Nevada.
“That helped some,” said Anderson about the fact that Babbitt will be at Nevada in helping to make his decision. “It was really nice to know that he’ll be there.”
And with the Wolf Pack baseball team, Anderson will be joined by another familiar face, his coach at Galena, Gary McNamara, who has joined the Nevada staff as a volunteer assistant.
While Anderson said he didn’t base his decision on the fact that McNamara was at Nevada, it did help. “That definitely helped make the decision a little easier,” Anderson said.
But in the end, the main reason why he chose Nevada was the chance to play at home in front of family and friends, Anderson said.
“I want them to be there to watch me keep pitching,” he said. “I really felt UNR was the place to go,” he said.
While Anderson has been the starting centerfielder for Galena, he was mainly recruited as a pitcher, receiving interest from 27 Division I schools.
Anderson said he expects to be used just as pitcher at Nevada. Anderson said he hopes to be in the starting rotation. “I’m pretty sure I’m just going to pitch,” he said. “I’ll just be a starting pitcher there.”
While Anderson has been receiving Division I interest for a while, interest in him really took off after his outstanding performance at the Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif., the nation’s most prestigious showcase for high school players. In two appearaces, Anderson struck out six, walked one and allowed one hit while allowing no runs in three innings.
“It went real well,” said Anderson about the Area Code Games. “It was a great experience.
“It was just fun playing with the best players around the country. I had a lot of colleges contact me after that. It kind of got crazy after that.”
Nevada won out against several major programs. Among those who showed interest in Anderson were Washington State, Santa Clara, Texas Tech, Kansas, UC Irvine, which advanced this past year to the College World Series, and two-time defending national champion Oregon State.
And the chance to stay at home won out over the chance to play with two other former teammates, Eric Maupin at Washington State and Tony Thompson at Kansas. Anderson described himself, Maupin, Thompson and Babbitt as all being best friends.
Anderson visited Washington State and said he loved the area. But in the end, he said Nevada “was a better fit for me.”
Anderson wanted to make his decision early so he can now concentrate completely on the football season. As the Grizzlies’ quarterback, Anderson has led Galena to a 4-0 start, including and impressive 34-21 win over Reed on Friday in a battle of High Desert League powers.
As a left-handed pitcher with an 88-mile an hour fastball that he hopes to increase to 90 mph, a curveball and a changeup, Anderson could catch the attention of professional scouts as well.
“I think there’s a chance,” said Anderson about being taken in the 2008 Major League draft.
On signing with a Major League team, Anderson said if the money was right “I’d definitely consider it.”