Dallas DeVrieze's dream was to play college baseball with his best friend, Matt Brill.|
Yet, even though the two Moline High School seniors are heading to Division I Appalachian State, DeVrieze notes they were hardly a package deal.
"The (recruiting) process was different for us," DeVrieze said after signing off on a scholarship deal Wednesday, a week after Brill did the same. "It just worked out in the end we're going to the same place."
Brill was first contacted by the North Carolina school when the two were in-state with their Post 246 teammates at the American Legion World Series in August.
The outfielder took an official visit in September, verbally committed later that month, and signed a National Letter of Intent last week.
DeVrieze didn't hear from Appalachian State until last month, though, and won't step on campus until the Christmas break, inking with the school sight unseen to follow through on last Thursday's verbal commitment when a scholarship offer was made.
"It happened so fast, and I didn't want to wait," said DeVrieze, a left-handed pitcher. "This is too good of an opportunity to pass up.
"I already knew about the campus from what Matt had said, and I've done a lot of research online. I've also been to North Carolina before, and I like the area and I like the people. It's a great school and baseball program. Matt going there, too, was just the cherry on top."
Appalachian State was the only school to offer a scholarship, though DeVrieze had been talking with Creighton and Illinois State. The latter school does not have a spot for a left-handed pitcher at this time, DeVrieze said.
"They said if I could wait until the spring, maybe there'd be an injury or somebody transferring," DeVrieze said. "But when 'App-State' came along, I knew I'd knocked it out of the park. "It was important to me to sign before the spring season started. I didn't want to risk getting injured. I didn't want to worry about anything my senior year. I just want to enjoy myself and help my team win."
DeVrieze posted a 6-3 record with a 2.58 ERA last season, pitching the Maroons to a Class 4A sectional appearance, before helping Post 246 to the Legion World Series.
Appalachian State, in Boone, N.C., won the Southern Conference last season before finishing a win away from advancing into the NCAA Super Regionals.
"It's far away from home, but that's going to let me grow up on my own and not depend on my parents for meals and laundry," DeVrieze said. "Matt and I are not going to room together, either, because we've heard friends just end up nagging each other. Instead, this is a chance to expand our horizons a little, meet new people and enjoy new experiences."
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