Fourth-ranked University of Louisville baseball has raced to one of its best starts in school history this season and in the process has bolstered the programs recruiting efforts.
Earlier this month, while in the process of sweeping a weekend series against visiting Alabama, U of L head coach Dan McDonnell received a verbal commitment from one of the nation's best, outfielder Josh Stowers of Westchester (Ill.) Mount Carmel.
Stowers (6'0, 185) is a Top 100 prospect in the Class of 2015 by PerfectGame.org and is ranked as the #2 prospect in Illinois.
He was one of just seven prospects from the Class of 2015 to earn All-American honorable mention honors following the 2012 season.
He committed to Louisville following a lengthy research process, which included visits to both Michigan and U of L last November.
"I never expected to make a major college decision so early," Stowers told Cardinal Authority. "I had to think long and hard about this decision because it's not for the next four years, it's for the next forty years. This is something I didn't want to rush or take lightly."
While he wasn't planning on making an early commitment, Stowers approached the recruiting process early and often.
"I started the process early by looking at schools that were potentially a good fit," he explained. "I looked at academics, baseball graduation rates, conference, level of competition, and player development (physical and mental)."
Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Stanford and Vanderbilt all made his final cut, but after weighing the opportunities at each, Stowers felt that the Cardinals program encompassed all the qualities he was looking for in a college. Stowers evaluated all aspects of the school and was impressed by the academic offerings, head coach Dan McDonnell and the support that the city provides.
"The business school is strong and nationally recognized," he said. "Also, the team's GPA is high and they graduate a lot of baseball players. Louisville is a great baseball, basketball, and football school. I'm excited we're moving to the ACC and the level of competition we'll play. I see it as the best playing against the best. Coach McDonnell and staff values what my current High School Coach Brian Hurry values - teamwork! It's all about the team and it feels like a family atmosphere."
"I love how the fans and city support college sports," he added.
Stowers also plays for Gravel Baseball, an elite travel team, who he helped to win the Perfect Game World Series crown last season.
"Louisville feels like the next step after playing competitively for Gravel Baseball," he said. "Coach McDonnell and staff will push me to develop and dig deep like my travel baseball coaches Al Oremus and Sam Sorce."
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