"Once again Coach (Tommy) Harmon, our recruiting coordinator, and Coach (Frank) Anderson have done an outstanding job of recruiting players for our program," Garrido said. "We feel that several of these incoming players will fill important roles on our team during the 2004 campaign."
Topping Texas' early signing class are a foursome of in-state, two-way players in Adrian Alaniz (Sinton, Texas/Sinton), John Danks (Round Rock, Texs/Round Rock), Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas/Bellaire) and Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas/Atlanta). While Alaniz went 17-0 with a 0.81 ERA on the mound and batted .416 with six home runs and 61 RBI as a third baseman for Sinton High School in 2002, Danks tallied a 6-2 record to go along with a 1.60 ERA for head coach John Langerhans' Round Rock Dragons while batting at a .398 clip with 29 RBI. Meanwhile, McCulloch posted a .385 batting average as a middle infielder to go along with an 8-1 record on the mound for Bellaire High School one year ago, and Stubbs, who hit .452 with five home runs and 25 RBI as a junior outfielder for Atlanta High School, is regarded as Texas' top high school player. Notably, Danks' father, also named John, played basketball at Texas (1977-80) and also coached on Abe Lemons' basketball staff at UT in 1982. Another heralded UT signee from the Lone Star state is right-handed pitcher Drew Johnson (Wylie, Texas/Wylie), who went 15-2 on the mound for the Wylie High School Pirates with a 1.08 ERA and 144 strikeouts over 119 innings of work.
The defending national champions' signing class was also headlined by outfielder/left-handed pitcher Michael Rogers (Del City, Okla./Del City) and shortstop Brandon Wood (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon), who are considered the top high school baseball players in the states of Oklahoma and Arizona, respectively. While Rogers is a dominant pitcher from the left side who also plays center field and is Del City High School's quarterback, Wood, who batted .443 with 18 doubles and eight home runs last year, combines with McCulloch to give the Longhorns a signing class that includes two of the top middle infielders in the country.
"We have signed a very athletic group in which a majority of the players can both play in the field and pitch," Harmon said. "That alone offers us quite a bit of versatility as each of those student-athletes can fill a pair of positions. Overall, these players were signed to fill our team needs for the 2004 season and we feel that we have done that with this class."
Of note, the official early signing period for baseball runs from Nov. 13 through Nov. 20.