Nick Senzel decommits from Georgia, to join Farragut contingent at Tennessee

Farragut's Nick Senzel makes is safely to third base covered by Centennial's Tyler Bozeman on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 during the 2013 BlueCross Spring Fling in Murfreesboro.  

(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

Farragut's Nick Senzel makes is safely to third base covered by Centennial's Tyler Bozeman on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 during the 2013 BlueCross Spring Fling in Murfreesboro. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

The news found Nick Senzel the same week he was preparing for his final run at a state championship with the Farragut High School baseball team, and it shook his college pledge to its core.

Senzel, an infielder who had signed with the University of Georgia in November, learned that the university fired longtime coach David Perno on May 19.

Compartmentalizing his concerns was key.

“I told my dad that I wanted to focus on the state championship and the state tournament (May 21-24) and then we’ll worry about the college situation,” he said. “And that’s what we did.”

Nearly a month later, Senzel settled his future course. He received a release from his National Letter of Intent with Georgia and committed to play for Tennessee.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Senzel said he’ll report to campus July 8 and will compete for playing time at second base.

“When they fire a coach, that’s big for a program,” said Senzel. “Bringing in a new guy, you don’t really know what to expect.

“I took it in stride. I talked it over with my family about what I’m going to do and decided to ask for a release. I met with the new Georgia coach. He’s a great guy, Coach (Scott) Stricklin. I sat down and had lunch with him and he watched me play. He still wanted me to go there, but he said that if I wanted out I could get out.

“I made my decision in the next two days, and I knew from then on where I wanted to go — and that was to be a Volunteer.”

Senzel will be reunited with his best friend and fellow incoming freshman, Farragut right-hander Kyle Serrano, and also Farragut teammates Cameron Strickland (incoming freshman centerfielder) and A.J. Simcox (Tennessee shortstop).

Serrano, son of Tennessee coach Dave Serrano, was projected to be a first- or second-round draft pick earlier this month, but signability concerns prevented that from transpiring. Kyle Serrano opted to forgo professional baseball, as he was drafted in the 29th round by the Colorado Rockies.

His addition to the pitching staff along with Senzel’s arrival could pay off for Tennessee down the road, Senzel said.

Senzel hit a team-high .386 this past season for Farragut with four triples, five home runs, 14 doubles and 38 RBIs.

“When I got the opportunity to commit and come here and start in July, I was super excited,” said Senzel. “I’ve been playing with some of those guys (from Farragut) since I was young.

“To be able to play Division I, SEC baseball with those guys is a blessing. It’s great to be able to continue friendships and stay close with guys I’ve been playing with my whole life.

“I’m very excited to come in here and help make this program what it once was and rebuild it and contend this upcoming year.”

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Comments » 19

HooRay_Vol writes:

Hoo-Ray!!!!!!!!!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Good news for the basevols..

Tennessean65 writes:

Coach Serrano is recruiting a lot of high character, athletic local kids...great for the Vols!

NowHearThis writes:

If I've told you once I've told you a hundred times:

Kids that decommitt cannot be counted on. In fact, throughout UT Vols history, it has been a negative more often than not.

If you give your word, keep your word. Elsewise you are setting a bad example for your future.

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to NowHearThis:

If I've told you once I've told you a hundred times:

Kids that decommitt cannot be counted on. In fact, throughout UT Vols history, it has been a negative more often than not.

If you give your word, keep your word. Elsewise you are setting a bad example for your future.

Does this same logic apply to UGA who terminated its contract with its baseball coach?

Does this same logic apply to coaches that "decommit" from players through oversigning, grayshirting,or "medical hardship waivers"?

tarter_sauce writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Good news for the basevols..

Serrano seems to be on a roll of his own ,maybe a little overshadowed by what coach Jones is doing but impressive none the less . go vols

FWBVol writes:

Class move by the new Georgia coach who knows he'll see Senzel for at least three years. UGA could have put conditions on the release such as not allowing Senzel to sign with a SEC school or a something like that, but they took the high road and did the right thing by the kid.

BankerVol writes:

in response to NowHearThis:

If I've told you once I've told you a hundred times:

Kids that decommitt cannot be counted on. In fact, throughout UT Vols history, it has been a negative more often than not.

If you give your word, keep your word. Elsewise you are setting a bad example for your future.

Now hear this... You are a douche bag.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to tarter_sauce:

Serrano seems to be on a roll of his own ,maybe a little overshadowed by what coach Jones is doing but impressive none the less . go vols

I thought he would recruit the West Coast for some pitching, but this is a real pick me up after such a disappointing season..GBO!

Banner writes:

High character guys? Like the kid from Powell with the DUI?

Let me get this straight. He didn't like UT before or UT didn't like him. Now all the sudden he wants to join a floundering program.

The Georgia Coach watches him play and then says "I will release you if you like"? Lol!!

Per NCAA rules the Georgia Coach has to honor the commitment. If a coach tells a player you can have your release they are really saying they don't want someone. If he wanted him he would have said i'm not releasing you. Do you really think a head coach in the SEC is going to voluntarily give up a good player without a fight?

Surely you guys are smarter than this. This isn't a great recruiting story that CDS pulled off a Butch Jones.

CCLC writes:

in response to Banner:

High character guys? Like the kid from Powell with the DUI?

Let me get this straight. He didn't like UT before or UT didn't like him. Now all the sudden he wants to join a floundering program.

The Georgia Coach watches him play and then says "I will release you if you like"? Lol!!

Per NCAA rules the Georgia Coach has to honor the commitment. If a coach tells a player you can have your release they are really saying they don't want someone. If he wanted him he would have said i'm not releasing you. Do you really think a head coach in the SEC is going to voluntarily give up a good player without a fight?

Surely you guys are smarter than this. This isn't a great recruiting story that CDS pulled off a Butch Jones.

No the whole reason for meeting and lunch was to reassure the player he had a spot. Players often have a change of heart if the coach that recruited them leaves or is fired. Remember the exodus from UT after Kiffen? I don't know why he chose one school over another.... you don't either. Point being CMR has let kids transfer and helped kids find a new home. That mentality apparently is shared by the baseball coach. Perno had some good years as a Dawg during his tenure. He also coached through two years where players suffered horrible off field injuries resulting in losing the ability to play. Coupled with some personal matters Perno just did not get the Dawgs back to a level of play that we expect in the SEC. He was a good Dawg and hope he lands at a school and restarts a very good year.
just typin'.

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

Must be slow on the football tab such that the NegaVols jump over here...

It was a rough, rough year for the BaseVOLS & next year is going to be crucial for CDS...every little bit helps.

Go BaseVOLS!
Hoover 2014!

Chappy writes:

Somebody help me here...are baseball scholarships full scholarships. Seems like I once heard they are only 1/2 or partial scholarhsips.

SummittsCourt writes:

The good news keeps pouring in recruiting wise. Time will tell, but this may be the class that finally turns the baseball team around. Go Vols!

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

in response to Chappy:

Somebody help me here...are baseball scholarships full scholarships. Seems like I once heard they are only 1/2 or partial scholarhsips.

It's my understanding that each D1 school has 11.7 scholarships to divide up to 30 ways. Full rides are very rare.

Ichabod writes:

>>>>> Serrano, son of Tennessee coach Dave Serrano, was projected to be a first- or second-round draft pick earlier this month, but signability concerns prevented that from transpiring.<<<<<

Now there is some serious editing. 'Signability concerns' (is that a word). Hey, if the kid could make it $$$, and he was worth it $$$, there would be no 'signability concerns ' MLB saw it for what it was worth, and passed. Certainly wishing these lads the best w the Vols, but realistically, when you essentially sign half your class from a home town high school team, you "got some SPLAINING to do"
Hoping things turn better for ButterBean, but the last two years have not shown anyone, a thing.

juststopwhining writes:

Does he get any scholarship money?

I don't have firsthand info, but word on the street is that he has a penchant for ... skunkweed. And at times he DID stink. It seemed as if he was an error waiting to happen for Farragut this past spring. He had 3 in the Maryville game alone. 1 or 2 in the state championship game. Add in having the reputation of being a less-than-desirable team mate and it's no wonder that coach Stricklin said "... that if I wanted out I could get out."

Hope coach Serrano is ready to babysit this boy.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Ichabod:

>>>>> Serrano, son of Tennessee coach Dave Serrano, was projected to be a first- or second-round draft pick earlier this month, but signability concerns prevented that from transpiring.<<<<<

Now there is some serious editing. 'Signability concerns' (is that a word). Hey, if the kid could make it $$$, and he was worth it $$$, there would be no 'signability concerns ' MLB saw it for what it was worth, and passed. Certainly wishing these lads the best w the Vols, but realistically, when you essentially sign half your class from a home town high school team, you "got some SPLAINING to do"
Hoping things turn better for ButterBean, but the last two years have not shown anyone, a thing.

If I heard correctly, the Serranos set a signing price of $2 million. I'm pretty sure they knew they probably wouldn't get it, but that was what it would take to get Kyle to bypass college. Teams passed on drafting him for that. But that's what they mean by signabilty. Kyle is a stud and is gonna shine on the hill. We need to count our blessings that we are getting him.

rookievol writes:

in response to juststopwhining:

Does he get any scholarship money?

I don't have firsthand info, but word on the street is that he has a penchant for ... skunkweed. And at times he DID stink. It seemed as if he was an error waiting to happen for Farragut this past spring. He had 3 in the Maryville game alone. 1 or 2 in the state championship game. Add in having the reputation of being a less-than-desirable team mate and it's no wonder that coach Stricklin said "... that if I wanted out I could get out."

Hope coach Serrano is ready to babysit this boy.

Excuse my ignorance here but what does "penchant for....skunkweed" mean? I'm confused?

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