February 23, 2012
Tech in on two-sport athlete
East Bernard (Texas) athlete Ty Slanina is someone you want at your school.
As a potential college football player and a college baseball player the Class of 2013 prospect has too much upside to pass up on. And with a full ride football scholarship, Slanina can play baseball without taking a part of an equivalency scholarship.
Texas A&M wanted Slanina to play both sports as do most schools who are recruiting the 6-foot, 182-pound, left-handed quarterback, slot receiver, defensive back, infielder, outfielder or maybe even as a long jumper as he is a 2A State Champion.
Slanina was once committed to Texas A&M, the school in his backyard, but once former Aggie head coach Mike Sherman was canned the plans changed.
"I committed to coach Sherman and he was an awesome coach and a better person," Slanina said. "He made me fall in love with Texas A&M. He believed me in as a football player and said I had a chance to come in and start as a freshman player at free safety and play baseball. I bought into it.
"With the new staff, we came to the mutual agreement that they weren't interested. They were upset that I committed to play safety but yet I was playing cornerback in high school. It just felt different and didn't have that home feeling I had with coach Sherman so I just opened things up."
It would have been a good fit for Slanina. East Bernard is a 2A community west of the Greater Houston area that is just 91 miles from College Station.
Just like how Big Spring, Texas, native Ryan Tannehill played out for Texas Tech, Texas A&M's loss appears almost anyone else's gain.
Tech, Stanford and Mississippi State are hot on the trail and have offered Slanina as an inside receiver and various other positions.
Georgia Tech is even taking a look at Slanina to run the Yellow Jackets' option attack as a quarterback. Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee and TCU have sent letters.
Slanina visited Tech last weekend and came away with a good impression.
"I was impressed," he said. "The campus was very nice, the campus was clean. I was impressed by the coaches and the facilities, the education centers they have and the stadium. Just the people there. One thing I was mainly impressed with was the strength and conditioning, their set up and that coach that they have there. It was very nice."
Slanina's father, John Slanina, said the Red Raiders have the unique pitch of trying Ty Slanina at the wildcat quarterback position.
"I think in the end I'll end up playing slot receiver," Ty Slanina said. "At first colleges were recruiting me to play defensive back, but the last three offers that I've had are all for slot receiver. I want to play slot receiver in college so that's probably going to end up what it's being."
Ty Slanina checked out the newly renovated Dan Law Field and Rip Griffin Park during their visit and took in some of the Tech-Tennessee Tech baseball game which the Red Raiders won 9-5.
"I didn't stay for the whole game but what I did see is they have a pretty good team," Ty Slanina said. "This was just a football trip though, I haven't had any contact with the baseball coaches."
John Slanina said the visit was very personable which had an impact on Ty Slanina. The coaches new the junior day visitors' names and Ty Slanina even had lunch with Tech chancellor Kent Hance.
Ty Slanina will visit TCU this weekend and Stanford in the near future.
"TCU told him they're going to recruit him for both sides of the ball and they want him to play both until they figure out where he best fits into the team," John Slanina said. "They believe he can play safety and receiver and return kicks. That's the same thing with Stanford."
The interesting thing about the schools Ty Slanina has offers and interest from is the fact their baseball programs don't lag far behind their football programs.
Rice, a baseball powerhouse the Red Raider baseball team will square off with in about two week's time, has interest in Ty Slanina as well.
"He likes both football and baseball," John Slanina said. "But it's not required both sports are in the Top 10 or Top Five. He just wants the chance to compete in two sports."
Texas A&M baseball head coach Rob Childress already was counting on Ty Slanina by way of his Texas A&M football scholarship.
"Coach Childress said he was probably the fastest kid he had ever witnessed in baseball," John Slanina said. "Being a south paw and I guess he laid down a couple of bunts and got on first. Childress was just like 'oh my gosh.'"
John Slanina said his son probably envisions himself playing middle infield, but most all-star team coaches project him to being an outfielder. However, when it comes game time on those all-star teams Ty Slanina plays short stop because of his ability to cover a large area.
Offense or defense, infielder or outfielder?
Those are all questions that Ty Slanina will have to sort through between now and National Signing Day, 2013.
"He likes offense," John Slanina said. "I can tell you that. But he wants to listen with some of these schools. Mississippi State told him they want him as a wide receiver, but also want to use him on third down passing downs on defense. They said 'you're going to play both sides of the ball if you come to Mississippi State.'
"I'd say he wants to touch the ball on offense, but he's not opposed to doing what's best for the team. He really wants to go somewhere where he feels like he's a good fit and fits in. That's a big part of it."
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