If Shawon Dunston Jr. proves to be as patient at the
plate as he was when it came to making his college commitment, he may enjoy a
long professional career someday.
Dunston told Perfect Game on Tuesday, Nov. 16, that he
had committed to Vanderbilt University after waiting days to hear from the
school’s admissions office. He had narrowed his final two choices to Vanderbilt
and Oregon State.
“I have committed to Vanderbilt!” Dunston said in a one
line email message to Perfect Game Tuesday afternoon.
Dunston, a 6-2, 165-pound senior outfielder at Valley
Christian High School in Fremont, Calif., is Perfect Game’s No. 48 national
prospect in the class of 2011 and No. 11 in the state of California.
He played his summer ball with the prestigious NorCal
Baseball program, attended Perfect Game’s National Showcase in St. Petersburg,
Fla., last June and took part in the Aflac All-American Classic in San Diego in
Dunston also considered USC, Georgia Tech and Miami before
narrowing it to Vanderbilt and Oregon State.
“It’s a very exciting time,” Dunston said before
announcing his decision. “Vanderbilt and Oregon State were in my top-five when
I first started and towards the end they became my one and two.
enjoyable, but it’s also been a hassle,” he said of the recruiting process. “It’s
been a hassle because every day I’m changing my mind on what school I want to
go to. I’ve just been waiting patiently to find out if I can get into
Vanderbilt or not.”
In choosing Vanderbilt, Dunston will be attending a
university with an outstanding academic reputation that is affiliated
athletically with the powerhouse Southeastern Conference.
Head baseball coach Tim Corbin has been in charge for the
past seven years and has led the Commodores to four straight NCAA regional
tournament appearances while competing against many of the nation’s top
“I’m a California kid, but I liked the atmosphere in
Nashville, Tennessee. I felt like I was at home,” Dunston said. “Coach (Tim)
Corbin is a players’ coach, it seems like, and he’s loyal to his players. And I
want to play in the SEC. The players here at home where I live at want to go to
the Pac-10, but I want to go to the SEC and do something different.
“It’s the academic
side of it, as well,” he added. “I’ll get great academics and great sports at
Dunston, who has a 3.3 GPA, said he hopes to study sports
management or sports business while in school.
Dunston is the son of Shawon Sr. and Tracie Dunston.
Shawon Dunston Sr. was the first overall pick in the first round of the 1982 Major
League Draft by the Chicago Cubs and enjoyed an 18-year career with the Cubs,
Giants, Indians, Cardinals and Mets. A two-time All-Star, Dunston is now a
special assistant for the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
“My dad influenced me a lot. He’s the one that taught me
everything I know about baseball and he’s the one who motivates me in the game
of baseball,” Dunston Jr. said. “He’s my biggest fan and also my biggest
critic. He’s hard on me and wants me to be successful.”
He identified himself as a “big” Giants fan who heartily
celebrated the Giants’ World Series Championship like just about everyone else
on the west side of San Francisco Bay.
“Now that the
Giants won the World Series, it was a great experience because I’m a Bay Area
kid and I grew up watching the Giants and A’s play,” Dunston said.
Dunston also celebrated his association with Perfect Game
during his high school years. He is genuinely appreciative of the exposure the
PG events game him.
“The Perfect Game events down in Florida - the Perfect
Game National Showcase – is probably the best thing that happened to me in the
summertime,” Dunston said. “That’s the best thing I did, baseball-wise, was to
go to Florida for three days.
“I did good and I became an Aflac All-American, so that
was the best thing that happened to me. I definitely would (advise) people to
go to Perfect Game and get your name out there and get seen by schools from all
across the country.”
A PG scout at the National Showcase described Dunston as
“very aggressive to the ball in the outfield (with) very good footwork, loose
arm with some carry,” and as a hitter with a “good quick swing.”