Huskers sign 12 players

Lincoln -- University of Nebraska baseball coach Mike Anderson announced that 12 players have signed National Letters-of-Intent to play baseball for the Husker program during the recently completed signing period.

The class, which features 11 high school players and one junior college transfer, includes players from seven states (Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska) including four of Nebraska's top high school seniors in the class of 2006. The class includes six pitchers and six position players.

Anderson, who begins his fourth year at Nebraska, believes the strength of this class is the combination of its potential and the strong work ethic of the players in the group.

"I feel that this class has a tremendous amount of potential," Anderson said. "We are excited about the quality of the athletes, as well as the character that this class brings into the program."

Anderson also cites diligence of assistant coach Andy Sawyers, who oversaw the building of this recruiting class after former NU associate head coach Rob Childress was hired as the head coach at Texas A&M in June. Assistant coach Dave Bingham, who joined the Husker staff in August, also helped construct a very strong class.

"Andy (Sawyers) did a tremendous job this summer through the transition of coaching changes," Anderson said. "This class is a testament to the hard work he has done, as well as the work that Dave (Bingham) has done since joining our staff. This class will play a major role in helping us continue the success we have enjoyed in recent years."

The Huskers are coming off a season where they won a school-record 57 games and reached the College World Series for the third time in five years. Nebraska has also won three Big 12 regular-season titles since 2001.

Nebraska Baseball Recruiting Class

Name Pos Ht. Wt B/T Hometown (Previous School)
Mitch Abeita C 5-11 180 R/R Duncanville, Texas (North Central CC)
D.J. Belfonte OF 5-10 175 L/L Gladstone, Mo. (Rockhurst)
Joe Broekemeier RHP 6-4 180 R/R Aurora, Neb.
Andy Cotton INF 5-9 160 R/R Lincoln, Neb. (Southwest)
Brian Feekin LHP 6-6 225 L/L Papillion, Neb. (Papillion-LaVista)
Aaron Jarosh OF 6-0 180 R/R Ankeny, Iowa
Shane Lowe INF 6-3 185 S/R New Bloomfield, Mo.
Zach McAllister RHP 6-5 230 R/R Chillicothe, Ill. (Illinois Valley Central)
Michael Nesseth RHP 6-5 185 R/R Windom, Minn.
Sam Sharpe RHP 6-2 200 R/R Stillwell, Kan. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Charlie Shaver LHP 6-4 195 L/L Elkhorn, Neb.
Brett Sowers INF 5-10 180 R/R Englewood, Colo. (Cherry Creek)

Mitch Abeita
The lone junior college transfer in the recruiting class, Abeita (a-beta) comes from North Central Texas College. Abeita started as a freshman for Coach Scott Harp, hitting .330 with three homers and 20 RBIs with a .476 slugging percentage. Abeita excels defensively, throwing out 42 percent of base runners and recording a .990 fielding percentage. He played in the Texas Collegiate League last summer and was selected to play in the Texas/New Mexico Junior College All-Star game earlier this fall. He played his high school ball at Duncanville High School, hitting .400 with 10 homers en route to earning all-district honors as a senior. He chose Nebraska over Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Dallas Baptist and UT-Pan American.

D.J. Belfonte
The first member of this fall's recruiting class, Belfonte committed to Nebraska last May. One of the best all-around athletes in the Kansas City area, Belfonte earned all-state honors as a junior in both baseball and football and was on his way to repeating the feat before suffering a season-ending knee injury last month. On the diamond, he earned second-team all-state accolades as a junior, hitting .406 with six doubles and three homers for Coach Jim DeGraw. On the gridiron, he was a second-team all-state performer who was leading the No. 1 ranked team in Missouri in rushing yards, touchdowns and tackles before his injury.

Joe Broekemeier
One of four in-state products in Nebraska's recruiting class, Broekemeier plays three sports along with American Legion Baseball for Coach Matt Broekemeier. Joe led Aurora to a 28-7 record and a state tournament as a two-way performer in 2005, going 7-3 with a 0.91 ERA, striking out 70 in 46 innings. He also hit .401 with seven homers, 45 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. Broekemeier also competes in basketball, where he was a first-team all-state performer averaging 18 points and five rebounds a game, and track, where he placed fourth in the 200 meters in Class B and anchored the 4x400 relay to a state runner-up finish. He selected NU over Creighton, Missouri, Kansas and New Mexico.

Andy Cotton
The only Lincoln native in this fall's class, Cotton becomes the first Husker baseball recruit from Lincoln Southwest High School. A three-year starter for Coach Doug Kaltenberger, Cotton was an honorable-mention all-state performer in each of the past three seasons, hitting .400 with 22 RBIs and 30 runs scored in 2005, helping the Silver Hawks to a 20-15 record. A three-time all-city selection, Cotton also plays football, where he earned second-team Super State honors in 2004 after picking off eight passes. This season, he has helped Southwest to the Class A title game. He also plays basketball for the Silver Hawks. He has been on the LSW Honor Roll every semester in high school and selected NU over Arkansas, Creighton, Cornell and Brown, the latter two schools recruited him for both baseball and football.

Brian Feekin
Feekin comes from a tradition-rich Papillion-LaVista program that has produced numerous Husker players over the years. A two-year starter for the Monarchs and Coach Jim Thomas, Feekin compiled a 5-3 record with a 3.93 ERA and 56 strikeouts to rank among the state leaders in strikeouts. As a sophomore, he helped Papillion-LaVista to a third-pace finish at the state tournament, winning 11 games between his high school and American Legion seasons. A two-sport athlete, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound southpaw is also a two-year starter for the Monarch basketball team. He looked at Kansas State, Iowa and Iowa Western before selecting Nebraska. He also attended the 2005 Nebraska Stars of Tomorrow Camp.

Aaron Jarosh
A three-sport standout Jarosh comes to Nebraska from Ankeny High School, where he was a teammate of current NU catcher Jeff Lanning. A three-year starter for Coach Mark Hey, Jarosh earned second-team all-state honors as a junior, hitting .392 with 12 homers, 31 RBIs, 67 runs scored and 23 stolen bases in leading Ankeny to a 39-7 record and a state runner-up finish. A two-time all-district performer on the diamond, Jarosh also was a four-year starter in football and a state champion long jumper in track. He carried a 3.7 GPA and has been on the school honor roll. He was recruited by Georgia Tech, Northern Iowa and Iowa in baseball, and also drew recruiting interest from the Hawkeyes in football.

Shane Lowe
One of two all-state players from Missouri in the recruiting class, Lowe played shortstop and designated hitter for Coach Brett Craighead at New Bloomfield High School. Lowe is a two-time all-state performer, earning first-team honors in 2005. He earned first-team all-state honors as a junior, batting .488 with 18 stolen bases and a .639 on-base percentage in helping his team to a 17-4 record and district finals. A three-time all-district and all-area selection, he has stolen 93 bases during his high school career, including 36 as a sophomore when he also hit .450. In addition to his high school team, Lowe also played for the Kansas City Sluggers elite team, hitting .486 with 10 stolen bases in just 37 at-bats during the fall. Lowe was an all-conference performer in basketball as a sophomore before missing his junior year because of an injury. He drew interest from Missouri, Kansas State and Missouri State before choosing to become a Husker.

Zach McAllister
One of six high school pitchers in the recruiting class, McAllister plays for Coach Jerry Rashid at Illinois Valley Central High School. A three-year starter on the mound, McAllister was a first-team Mid-Illini Conference pick as a junior, compiling a 10-3 record with a 1.14 ERA, striking out 76 and walking 23 in 79 innings. He also pitched for the White Sox Area Code Games team last summer. McAllister is a two-sport athlete (also basketball) and excels in the classroom, where he is a high honor roll student and a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. He chose NU over a host of schools, including Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Bradley and Evansville

Michael Nesseth
One of six pitchers in the class, Nesseth pitched for Coach Brad Schlomann at Windom (Minn.) High School. Nesseth was a first-team All-Section 3AA and All-Southwest Conference pick as junior, leading his conference in innings pitched and wins as a junior. Nesseth went 8-4 with a 2.21 ERA, striking out 94 in 69.2 innings of work. He also played football, where he is a two-year captain and all-conference pick, and basketball at WHS. He also pitched on the varsity as a sophomore, recording 40 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched. A member of the National Honor Society, Nesseth has been on the school's honor roll his entire high school career. He also took visits to Minnesota and South Dakota State before choosing NU.

Sam Sharpe
Sharpe hails from Stillwell, Kan., where he attends St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Although he did not play high school baseball, he was considered one of the top prospects in the state of Kansas, as he played for the Kansas City Sluggers elite club team. Sharpe comes from a family that is heavily involved in baseball, as one of his older brothers, Steven, pitches in the Oakland A's organization, while another brother, Scott, pitched at Kansas. He looked at Baylor, Missouri, Arizona among other schools before selecting Nebraska.

Charlie Shaver
Shaver continues Nebraska's tradition of recruiting the top high school pitchers from the Omaha area. A two-year starter for Coach Jerry Frerich at Elkhorn High School, the 6-foot-4 left-hander earned honorable-mention all-state honors, going 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA. Shaver struck out 68 in 43.2 innings. His strikeout total set a school record and ranked fifth in the state in 2005, while he also ranked among the state leaders in wins. Shaver, who went 4-0 with two saves as a sophomore, turned in a dominant summer in American Legion ball, going 8-3 with a 2.49 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 73 innings.

Brett Sowers
Sowers is one of the top seniors in the state of Colorado, playing for Coach Marc Johnson at Cherry Creek High School. A two-year starter, Sowers earned first-team All-Colorado honors at second base as a junior, hitting .473 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs in just 93 at-bats. Sowers led Cherry Creek to a 21-5 record and a state tournament appearance in 2005. A first-team Centennial League pick and preseason All-American, he had 17 homers and 85 RBIs during the summer. He was one of several Husker recruits to play in the Area Code Games in California in August.

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