Georgia baseball signs 14 for 2017 season
ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin announced Wednesday that 14 student-athletes have signed national letters-of-intent with UGA. They will join the Bulldog baseball program for the 2017 season.
Twelve of the newcomers will arrive from the high school ranks and two will come from junior college. A total of 13 signees hail from Georgia and one is a native of California.
“We are very excited to welcome this special group to the University of Georgia,” Stricklin said. “This is a very deep class that is extremely talented. We expect these young men to make an immediate impact on our baseball program. Coach (Scott) Daeley and Coach (Fred) Corral have worked tirelessly to put this class together, and we feel that it has the chance to be one of the best recruiting classes in the country.”
Georgia’s 2016 class checks in at No. 14 in the Top 25 College Recruiting Rankings by Perfect Game and features four players in their national Top 100.
Here’s a look at the newest Bulldogs:
Chase Adkins (RHP, 5-11, 175, R-R, Powder Springs, Ga.)
Attends Chattahoochee Valley Community College where he plays for Adam Thomas…Spent his first two seasons at Coastal Carolina where he played for Gary Gilmore and ultimately redshirted in 2015….A Dean’s List student who earned Big South Presidential Honor Roll recognition…Went 2-8 with a 3.99 ERA in 24 games including nine starts for the Chanticleers …Tallied 79 innings with 54 strikeouts and only 17 walks at CCU as team went 24-33 in 2014 and 39-21 in 2015…Started and went seven innings on a combined five-hit shutout with his brother Chad in a 12-0 win over Albany on Feb. 21, 2015…Pitched six innings with three strikeouts in a 9-3 win over Radford as a freshman in 2014…A graduate of Hillgrove High School where he played for Dave Richardson…Saw action as a pitcher/outfielder for the Hawks and named Region Four 6A Pitcher of the Year along with All-Region and All-County 1st team after going 2-3 in 52 innings with 51 strikeouts and a 2.15 ERA as a senior…A perfect 9-0, 1.26 ERA with 65 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 66.2 innings as a junior…Summer baseball action included pitching for Team Georgia in 2012-13…Son of Kimberly Adkins…Chase’s twin brother Chad played baseball with him at Coastal Carolina for two years while their brother Michael played at Middle Tennessee State.
“UGA has been a dream school to me since I was a kid,” Adkins said. “I have been a UGA fan all of my life.”
Stricklin on Adkins: “After starting out at Coastal Carolina, Chase has made his way to Chattahoochee Valley. He’s got a great arm with a plus slider and is very athletic on the mound. We’re looking for him to come and add a veteran presence to our staff right away.”
Austin Biggar (C, 6-1, 200, R-R, Lilburn, Ga.)
Attends Parkview High School where he plays for Chan Brown… Rated top catcher in the state, No. 9 nationally among catchers and No. 97 overall prep prospect by Perfect Game…A three-year letterman for the Panthers as a catcher…Batted .370 and led the state with 11 home runs and 48 RBI in 36 games as junior…Helped team to a 34-2 record to capture the 6A state title and named 2015 national champions and Perfect Game High School Showdown Champions…Has been a part of three straight Region Eight 6A titles…Named a Max Preps Underclass All-American, 2015 All Region 8 Player of the Year, Gwinnett Dugout Club First Team All-County and Gwinnett Daily Post First Team selection…Summer baseball action with Team Elite Prime…Son of Robert and Michelle Biggar.
“I chose to play baseball at the University of Georgia for two reasons: I feel we have the right mix of current and future players to achieve our goals, and I feel UGA is committed to excellence,” Biggar said. “It takes a team of committed players and coaches to achieve the goal, get to Omaha!”
Stricklin on Biggar: “Austin is one of the best catchers in the country. He’s very athletic, can flat out hit and projects as a middle of the order hitter who will be a run producer early on in his career.”
Tim Elliott (RHP, 6-1 175, R-R, Loganville, Ga.)
Attends Loganville High School where he plays for Jeff Segars…A three-year letterman for the Red Devils as a pitcher/outfielder…Registered a 5-4 record, 3.20 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 41 innings as a junior…Helped lead team to a 24-8 record and the Elite Eight of the 5A playoffs…Also batted .280-3-19…A member of National Honor Society, an AP Scholar and UGA Certificate of Merit honoree currently ranked in the top five of his class…Summer league action with Game On…Son of Tim and Ammie Elliott.
“I am really looking forward to working with the coaches,” Elliott said. “I know they will put me on the path to success. I cannot wait to put on the uniform and represent Georgia Baseball.”
Stricklin on Elliott: “Tim is a pitcher who improved every time we saw him the last two years. His fastball is sneaky fast in the low 90s, and there’s very little effort in his delivery. He’s got tremendous upside, and we expect big things for Tim.”
Landon Faulkner (RHP, 5-11, 185, R-R, Kennesaw, Ga.)
Attends Chipola College where he plays for Jeff Johnson…Spent freshman season at Chattahoochee Valley Community College where he played for Adam Thomas…Posted an 8-4 record, 2.27 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 67.1 innings pitched as team went 43-17…Earned All-Region 22 and All-Southern Division honors in helping the Pirates to the ACCC title…A graduate of Mount Paran Christian School where he played for Kyle Reese…Saw action as a pitcher/infielder during career with the Eagles…Went 5-2 with a 3.94 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched plus hit .405-2-16 as a senior…Eagles went 30-3-1 and finished as GHSA 1A state finalists and Region 6A champions…Earned All-County honors…Played summer baseball with the East Cobb Astros and part of CABA championship and 17U Perfect Game BCS Championship…Son of Steven Faulkner and LeeAnn Samples.
“I chose UGA because I’ve always wanted to be a part of the UGA baseball family, and now that I have that chance, I am excited to play for one of the best programs in the country,” Faulkner said.
Stricklin on Faulkner: “Landon is a pitcher we’ve watched since his days at Mount Paran. He’s had two very successful years of junior college and will be able to come in right away and compete for innings. His fastball is in the low 90s, and he’s got a swing and miss slider.”
Justin Glover (LHP, 6-1, 195, L-L, Buford, Ga.)
Attends Buford High School where he plays for Tony Wolfe…A three-year letterman for the Wolves as a left-handed pitcher/first baseman…Posted a 2-0 record, 0.39 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched as a junior….Part of 4A State Championship team that went 34-2…Earned Gwinnett Daily Post All-County and Gainesville Times All-Area honors…A member of National Honor Society, Beta Club, Academic Honor Roll and Buford Student Leadership Council…Summer league action with Team Elite Roadrunners that won CABA title…Son of Brannon and Lorie Glover.
“I’ve always been a fan of UGA, and the coaching staff made me feel like I was at home,” Glover said. “I knew the first time I stepped on campus that UGA was where I wanted to spend the next four years.”
Stricklin on Glover: “We first saw Justin at our Top Dawg Camp two summers ago, and we were impressed with how he handled himself. He is a big-time competitor on the mound, and he really knows how to pitch. He has an excellent change-up to go with a fastball that can get into the low 90s.
Riley King (INF, 6-0, 190, R-R, Lawrenceville, Ga.)
Attends Collins Hill High School where he plays for Daniel Warzon…A three-year letterman for the Eagles as a third baseman/pitcher…Batted .350 with three home runs, 27 RBI and nine stolen bases as a junior in earning All-County honors…Helped team go 21-10…Named a Scholar-Athlete and Peer Leader, made the Honor Roll and a member of National Honor Society and Beta Club…Summer league action with Team Elite Roadrunners that won a CABA title…Son of Judith and Matt King.
“Since I began playing baseball at the age of three, I’ve dreamed playing for UGA,” King said. “I am now ready to make it a reality and represent Georgia with the best of my talent and more.”
Stricklin on King: “Riley is a really good baseball player who can handle the bat. He is capable of playing all around the diamond and will add depth to our infield.”
Zac Kristofak (RHP, 5-7, 185, R-R, Marietta, Ga.)
Attends Walton High School where he plays for Shane Amos…A three-year letterman for the Raiders as a pitcher…Led the squad as a junior going 11-1 with a 1.18 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 77 innings pitched…Helped Walton to a 30-7 mark and the finals of the state playoffs…Named to Region Five 6-A team and Cobb County, Marietta Dailey Journal and Walton Pitcher of the Year in 2015…Summer league action with the East Cobb Yankees and won the 18 WWBA and Connie Mack World Series…Grandson of Helen Pullium and Don Nations.
“The team and coaching staff felt like family, and Foley Field felt like home,” Kristofak said.
Stricklin on Kristofak: “Zac was one of the first players we saw when we got here in the summer of 2013, and he showed a true Bulldog mentality on the mound. He is very talented and competes harder than anyone you will see.”
Tony Locey (RHP, 6-3, 240, R-R, Columbus, Ga.)
Attends Houston County High School where he plays for Jason Brett…Rated the top pitcher in Georgia and No. 51 overall prep prospect nationally by Perfect Game…Posted a 3-1 mark, 2.00 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched as a junior plus hit .336-2-18…Helped the Bears go 14-5…Honor Student also played football as a sophomore…Invited to East Coast Pro Showcase and named to Rawlings Top Prospect List…Participant in Perfect Game All-American, Under Armour All-American events…Part of 2015 16U BCS National Championship squad and earned Pitcher MVP honors…Played summer baseball with Tri-State Arsenal…Son of Anthony and Joanie Locey…Anthony played college baseball at Columbus State and played professionally in the Chicago Cubs organization (1993-95) after being drafted.
“I have followed UGA since I was young and always dreamed of attending UGA and playing for them,” Locey said. “I met a great group of guys when I visited the school, and I knew right away that is where I wanted to play college baseball. I am blessed to say I will be a Georgia Bulldog. Go Dawgs!”
Stricklin on Locey: “Tony is one of the best pitchers in the country. He’s big and strong with a fastball in the mid 90s and can really pitch. He is an instant impact pitcher in the SEC.”
Tucker Maxwell (OF, 6-0, 180, L-L, Suwanee, Ga.)
Attends Dawson County High School where he plays for the Tigers and Dwayne Sapp…Also a standout receiver on the football team…Began prep career at Lambert High School where he played center field for coach Jamie Corr and made the Honor Roll…Missed his junior year with the Longhorns due to injury but was a standout in summer league action with the East Cobb Yankees, batting .368 with six home runs, 39 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 60 games…Yankees went 56-4 and captured the 2015 Connie Mack World Series and WWBA 18U PG Championships and were ranked number one in the country…Also played with Team Georgia…As a sophomore, batted .404 with six home runs and earned Best Defensive Player award in helping team to top national ranking and 6A state title after going 36-2…Son of Sid and Sherri Maxwell.
“I chose to attend UGA after meeting with Coach Stricklin,” Maxwell said. “I felt I could learn from him and become a better baseball player and contribute to the program.”
Stricklin on Maxwell: “Tucker is the best athlete in this class. He can really run and cover a lot of ground in the outfield. His bat speed is as good as you’ll see, and the way he plays the game puts pressure on defenses.
Will Proctor (INF, 6-2, 180, R-R, Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Attends Mira Costa High School where he plays for Cass Olson… Rated the No. 2 shortstop in California and No. 78 overall prospect nationally by Perfect Game…A three-year letterman as a shortstop/pitcher for the Mustangs…Also lettered in basketball as a freshman at Loyola High School…Batted .333 with one home run, 15 RBI and seven stolen bases plus went 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched as a junior to help squad to the Bay League Championship…Earned All Bay League honors…Played summer baseball with GBG (Garciaparra Baseball Group) Marucci and was part of a pair of PG/Evoshield National titles…Son of Jeff Proctor and Lisa Steen Proctor…Jeff played college baseball at Georgetown.
“It’s been a dream of mine to play in the SEC, and it’s a best case scenario to play for these coaches at UGA and the facilities on campus,” Proctor said.
Stricklin on Proctor: “Will is one of the better hitters in the entire country and will be an impact player at the college level. He can play anywhere in the infield and hits for average and power. He will be a factor in our program very early in his career.”
Christian Ryder (RHP, 6-5, 195, R-R, Acworth, Ga.)
Attends North Paulding High School where he plays for Dennis Jordan…A three-year letterman for the Wolfpack as a pitcher/third baseman and earned a two-time letterman in football…Posted a 3-3 record, 2.00 ERA in 41.2 innings as a junior as team went 10-13…A National Honor Society student with a 4.0 GPA…Named Most Valuable Pitcher, 2nd team All-Region, 1st Team All-County and preseason All-State…Played summer baseball with Team Elite Roadrunners…Son of Scott and Rhonda Ryder…Scott played baseball at Georgia Southern (1987-90) including winning 11 games on the 1990 squad that advanced to the College World Series, also played professionally in the Atlanta Braves organization (1990-94) after being drafted.
“Picking UGA was made pretty simple,” Ryder said. “ The environment Coach Stricklin and his staff are creating in Athens is something I knew I wanted to be a part of, and I can’t wait to be a Bulldog!”
Stricklin on Ryder: “Christian is the most projectable pitcher that we have signed in this class. He’s 6-5, athletic and already knows how to pitch. He is a strike thrower with a great breaking ball and change-up. His velocity continues to improve and has the potential be a front line SEC starting pitcher.”
Aaron Schunk (INF/RHP, 6-2, 180, R-R, Atlanta, Ga.)
Attends The Lovett School where he plays for Lance Oubs…A three-year letterman for the Lions and starting shortstop and pitcher including on their 2013 state championship squad…A two-way standout who batted .430 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI plus posted an 8-1 record, 1.70 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched as a junior…Helped team go 26-7 and advance to the state quarterfinals…Named Perfect Game preseason Underclass All-American 3rd Team, Georgia Dugout Preview preseason All-State, 1st Team All-Region and to Team Georgia…Played summer baseball with Team Elite Roadrunners and named to 2015 Top Prospect List in helping team to CABA 18U World Series Tournament title and earned “Best Pitcher” Award…Prep academic honors include Clara Traver Award and Scholastic Book Award…Son of Eric Schunk and Sandra Switzer.
“I chose UGA not only because of the phenomenal athletic facilities, coaches, beautiful campus, and great college town, but also because of the people that welcomed me into the UGA community,” Schunk said. “As soon as I stepped on campus, I knew that UGA is where I wanted to be, everything felt right, I felt at home. UGA is a rigorous school with great academics, but it also has some of the best athletics in the country. I am looking forward to being able to say that I am a Georgia Bulldog.”
Stricklin on Schunk: “Aaron is a true two-way player and one of the best pure baseball players you will find in the country. He’s a shortstop, but he can play any position on the field. His bat separates him from a lot of players in the country, and he’s a legitimate pitching prospect too.”
Cam Shepherd (SS, 6-1, 185, R-R, Duluth, Ga.)
Attends Peachtree Ridge High School where he plays for John Zope… Rated the No. 2 shortstop in Georgia and No. 73 overall prospect nationally by Perfect Game…A 2015 Perfect Game Underclass All-American 1st Team selection…A three-year letterman for the Lions as a shortstop/pitcher…Batted .440 with two home runs, 28 RBI and eight stolen bases as a junior in earning All-Region and All-Gwinnett County honors…Summer league action with Team Elite Roadrunners that won a CABA title and Perfect Game Nationals…Son of Judiah and Mike Shepherd…Cam’s father played collegiately at Georgia Southern from 1985-87 and was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds.
“UGA felt like home from the beginning and playing for Georgia is a dream come true,” Shepherd said.
Stricklin on Shepherd: “We recruited Cam since the day we arrived in June of 2013. He’s the best shortstop in the state of Georgia and one of the best in the country. He’s a great leader who will hit for power, and we expect great things from him.”
James Williams (RHP, 6-0, 180, R-R, Kennesaw, Ga.)
Attends Harrison High School where he plays for Mark Elkins….A three-year letterman for the Hoyas as a pitcher/catcher…Batted .309 with 20 RBI as team went 20-10 and captured the Region Four 6A championship as a junior…Named All-Region as a pitcher and a catcher…A four-year member of the Honor Roll…Named a Perfect Game All-American and participated in the 2014 PG Underclass All-American game in San Diego…Summer league action with 643 DP Cougars and won the WWBA Qualifier and Perfect Game Evoshield Invitational title…Son of Amy and Hans Williams.
“Georgia was an easy choice for me as it is my dream school,” Williams said. “I wanted to surround myself with players and a coaching staff that had aspirations as high as mine, and I feel UGA gives me the best opportunity to do that. Athens is an amazing place that I cannot wait to call home.”
Stricklin on Williams: “We first saw James as a catcher two years ago and later saw him pitch and we were impressed with his arm. He has the mentality of a position player and will come in and be a valuable part of our pitching staff.”
Georgia starts the 2016 college baseball season Feb. 19 at Foley Field with a three-game series against Georgia Southern. Southeastern Conference action begins March 18th with the Kentucky series in Athens.