Dec. 9, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame head baseball coach Dave Schrage announced Tuesday the signing of five student-athletes to national letters of intent. The class will be eligible beginning in the fall of 2009.
The Irish signed Charlie Markson, Frank Desico, Joe Hudson, Patrick Veerkamp and Adam Norton.
"Although this is a small class, it is one that will have a large impact on our program," said Schrage. "I feel our program became much more athletic with this group. We added speed and power with Norton, Markson, Desico, and Hudson. We also added a power-pitching arm in Veerkamp."
"Coach Lawler did an exceptional job in identifying our needs and recruiting student-athletes that have achieved at the highest level both athletically and academically. You win with good people and all of our signees are of the utmost character."
The 2009 recruiting class includes players from Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Florida. Notre Dame has five seniors on the 2009 roster. The Irish finished the 2008 season with a 33-21-1 record overall and 16-10 in the BIG EAST.
"Notre Dame was nothing short of the perfect choice for me," said Desico. "It will be a perfect fit for me academically, as well as athletically. I will work hard everyday to be a part of that prestigious reputation. Notre Dame is a place for success."
Schrage on Desico: "An all-out, `Charlie Hustle' type player. He is a great leader and plays with a big heart. Frank is just a solid baseball player. He plays in the Brett Lilley mold. Frank can play any of the infield positions. He also possesses plus speed on the bases."
Three-year starter and letterwinner at St. Ignatius High School ... batted .420 and set school records with 27 stolen bases, 51 hits and 83 runs scored as a junior ... also added six home runs in 2008 ... earned all-conference honors as both a sophomore and junior ... helped Wildcats to a pair of appearances in the Ohio High School State semifinals, including a runner-up finish last spring ... as a sophomore, hit .350 with 15 stolen bases ... received Gold Glove Award in South Carolina as sophomore in South Carolina Classic during spring break ... rated as a Perfect Game top prospect as well as Under Armour top prospect ... enters senior season (2009) as a Under Armour pre-season All-American ... also plays football at St. Ignatius and helped them capture the 2008 Ohio High School State Championship this fall as a slot receiver and punt returner (recorded three punt returns for touchdown) ... owns a 4.1 cumulative grade point average ... member of the National Honor Society and received the Michelson-Morley Award for mathematics and science.
RHP/INF ● R/R ● 6-1 ● 175
Highland, Ind. (Andrean HS)
"I chose Notre Dame because I feel that it is the best match for me," said Norton. "The education is one of the best in the country, and the baseball program is very good. I liked all of the people I met at Notre Dame, and feel that the players and coaches are great people."
Schrage on Norton: "Adam will be a two-way player for us. He has power at the plate and the ability to play both shortstop and third base. Adam is a legitimate three-hole hitter in college. He is a strong pitcher with a fastball in the upper 80's and a solid change-up."
Three-year starter and letterwinner at Andrean High School ... batted .446 with 38 RBI, four home runs, 16 doubles and seven stolen bases as a junior helping the 59ers to a 30-2 record ... as a sophomore hit .524 with 48 RBI, a school record 54 hits and registered a slugging percentage of .806 ... has twice earned all-state honors ... on the mound, has amassed 18 victories in three years ... went 6-1 with a 0.99 earned run average last spring ... ranked as the sixth-best player from the state of Indiana by the Prep Baseball Report ... has been named to the Honor Roll all three years at Andrean High School.
"I feel that Notre Dame is the perfect fit for me in terms of the challenging academics, size of the school, baseball opportunity and unmatched school tradition," said Markson. "I love the enthusiasm and commitment of the coaching staff and players."
Schrage on Markson: "Charlie is a very similar player to A.J. Pollock. He is extremely quick with a rifle-throwing arm. Charlie has played shortstop, centerfield and even pitched in high school. He will look to play the outfield at Notre Dame. Charlie is a tremendous contact hitter that will hit for a high average. He is also a quality defensive player."
Three-year starter and letterwinner at Whitefish High School ... batted .427 with a team-best 14 doubles and five triples ... also scored 35 runs, stole 26 bases, drove in 35 and recorded 41 hits ... named all-conference and all-district ... participated in the Milwaukee Brewers Classic Baseball Tournament ... hit a home run and drove in three in the title game ... also earned three letters in basketball as a point guard ... captured the Duke Pride Award (awarded to the individual on the team who displays the most leadership, teamwork and dedication) as a junior ... as a sophomore, led team in hits (48), triples (five), home runs (three), RBI (39) and runs scored (36) ... batted .403 and was named Team Offensive MVP ... attended same high school as current Irish sophomore David Casey.
"I wanted the best combination of baseball and academic excellence," said Hudson. "For me, grades were a big thing. I've been studying very hard over the last four years. I wanted to go to best academic institution and play for a good team, and I think Notre Dame was the best fit in that aspect."
Schrage on Hudson: "Joe is an extremely accurate thrower with a good arm. He is a great receiver and leader behind the plate. Joe will bring a plus bat with gap-to-gap power."
Three-year starter and letterwinner at Tampa Jesuit High School ... batted a team-best .397 as a junior last season ... finished second on the team with 31 hits, had a team-best nine doubles, with one triple, one home run, 21 RBI and 22 runs scored ... named second team all-county at third base as a junior ... first team Florida Bombers National Classic All-Tournament team ... two-year captain ... helped capture the 2008 WWBA 18U Perfect Game Championship in Marietta, GA with the Florida Bombers ... rated as the fifth-ranked catcher from the state of Florida and 40th-ranked player overall.
"I've been a Notre Dame fan for my entire life and when offered the opportunity to play baseball there, it was a dream come true," said Veerkamp. "After visiting the campus and meeting with the coaches, I felt at home and that it was the right place for me. The academic excellence and the success of the athletic programs at Notre Dame can't be beat."
Schrage on Veerkamp: "Patrick is a power arm right-hander that throws three pitches for strikes. He has a power breaking ball and fastball that will touch 90 miles per hour. Patrick will be ready to pitch right away as a freshman. His fastball will also continue to develop as he gets stronger."
Three-year starter and letterwinner at Homestead High School ... went 6-1 with a 3.46 earned run average with 33 strikeouts in 26.1 innings of work last spring ... led Homestead to a runner-up finish in the 4A state tournament ... two-way player also batted .347 with a .613 slugging percentage for the 26-6 Spartans ... ranked as the sixth-best player from the state of Indiana by the Prep Baseball Report ... been named to the honor roll every semester of high school ... member of the National Honor Society and also a AP Scholar of Distinction.