On Aug. 2, Franklin County junior pitcher Bennett Myers had one college offer, from Xavier, and was talking to Western Kentucky, UAB and Purdue.
By the end of last week he had offers from eight other NCAA DI schools, and on Wednesday Myers verbally committed to the University of Tennessee.
“In all honesty, Tennessee came on two weeks ago,” Myers said. “Before that I was leaning toward Missouri and Notre Dame. I just fell in love with Tennessee when I stepped on campus.
“I got an offer. We slept on it, prayed about it, and I called and said, ‘Coach, I want to be a Tennessee Vol.’”
In addition to Tennessee, Notre Dame and Missouri, the other schools in Myers’ top five were Purdue and North Carolina.
“A lot of athletes say they can’t wait to start getting recruited, they can’t wait until they get all that attention, and I was the same way,” he said. “But once it started it was miserable.
“My day would start off with a phone call at 10, and it was one call after another and it went on until 9 or 10 at night. It was like a job, and it was like that until I named my top five. It was a good problem to have.”
Myers’ last season of high school baseball was 2019 when, as a freshman, he went 6-2 with a 1.38 earned run average. The 2020 season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Myers, a right-handed pitcher, said he had a dead arm going into the 2019 summer season, causing his velocity to drop to 78 mph after throwing 86 mph during the high school season.
“I was getting hit pretty hard in PBR (Prep Baseball Report),” he said. “There was one game I was supposed to pitch five innings and I went one inning.”
As his velocity dropped, so did interest from colleges.
“My mom sent me a Bible verse,” Myers said, “and what it meant was delayed doesn’t mean denied. I lived off that verse.”
Myers continued to work, and this summer was back to pitching 87 mph, which garnered a lot of attention. He played for the Kentucky Baseball Club this summer and was selected for his sixth PBR Futures Games.
Myers said committing to a college with two years of high school eligibility remaining is the norm.
“In baseball it’s super common,” he said.
Myers is the second FCHS student-athlete to commit to Tennessee this year. Senior basketball player Brooklynn Miles committed to the Lady Vols earlier this summer.