This spring, the East baseball team will be led by a wrecking crew of two division one college recruits.
Junior Zebulon Vermillion is one of those pitchers. He verbally committed to play college baseball at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark on September 20th. It took Vermillion five months to fully commit to a university. After visiting the six universities that offered him scholarships and speaking to coaches weekly, Vermillion finally picked Arkansas.
“Lots of people commit early if they get an offer from the school they want.” Vermillion said. “I didn’t have a preference, so that’s why it took me longer to decide.”
The six schools that recruited Vermillion included the likes of KU and KSU. He was also looked at by nine other schools, including Clemson, Cincinnati, and Louisville.
Some of the most important requirements from a school in recruiting for Vermillion were the coaches of the team, the athletic facilities and academics. Vermillion liked Arkansas for all of those, especially because he is interested in engineering and Arkansas has a nationally known engineering program.
The other pitcher is senior Joey Wentz. Wentz committed to play college ball for the University of Virginia. Both Vermillion and Wentz were crucial to the recent success of the Shawnee Mission East baseball team, leading the lancers to the state semifinal game last year.
Vermillion is mainly a pitcher, but he occasionally plays in the outfield as well. As a pitcher, Vermillion can throw fastballs in the mid-to-high 80’s which is very good for a high school prospect. He also throws curveballs and changeups to go with that fastball.
Vermillion hasn’t gotten this far without a lot of hard work and intense competition. Even as he commits to a university, the work doesn’t stop. As far as advice goes, Vermillion has some motivating words for younger athletes looking to make it to the next level.
“Don’t think that you are better than everyone else.” Vermillion explained. “Somewhere out there there is someone working harder than you when you aren’t working, and at the end of the day everyone is trying to make it to the big leagues and you will have to fight for that spot.”