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College | Recruiting | 11/22/2019

Hogs Future Set In Jupiter

Blake Dowson        
Photo: Nate Wohlgemuth (Perfect Game)

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| 2020 High School Player Rankings | Recruiting Database

Head of Class: Arkansas Razorbacks

The WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. is quite simply the biggest event of the year. The top high school talent of the upcoming draft class is all there, with hundreds upon hundreds of professional scouts and college recruiters in attendance.

It is a chance for those college recruiters to possibly find one or two more late commitments, and an opportunity to flex their recruiting muscle a bit when the prospects they have signed play well.

Players in Jupiter wear their college commitment with pride. Pitchers know where the guy digging into the box is going to school, and the hitter knows the same of the pitcher.

This fall, the 2020 Arkansas Razorback recruiting class made their presence known at Jupiter.

Righthanded pitcher Nate Wohlgemuth became a celebrity around the Roger Dean Complex after his 14-strikeout no-hitter, where he was up to 97 mph with his fastball. It was one of the most dominant performances in recent memory at the tournament.

“I put in a ton of work during the fall and it all paid off at Jupiter,” Wohlgemuth said. “And I’m hoping I can have that same success this winter and into the spring and continue it at Arkansas as well.”

Wohlgemuth, the No. 11 righthanded pitcher in the 2020 class, was one of the later commitments in the class. He said he took his time choosing between a couple schools.

It was the momentum Arkansas started to build in its recruiting class that practically made his decision for him.

“I was keeping up a little bit [with the recruiting class],” he said. “I had narrowed my decision down to Arkansas and TCU, but once I saw Tyler Cacciatori had committed and Cayden Wallace and Clayton Gray, and then Masyn Winn committed I was like, ‘Dang, they’re starting to pile up commitments at Arkansas.’ There were a lot of other things that went into it, but once I saw they were all committing I knew I wanted to pull the trigger on it.”

That domino effect, along with a little nudge from one of his future Razorback teammates, officially got him over the hump with his commitment.

“I had Cayden texting me all the time telling me saying, ‘Woo Pig Sooie’ and saying, ‘Hey, we want you here,’” Wohlgemuth continued.

He watched his guys in Jupiter and said he came away impressed with what he saw. He wasn’t the only one impressed, because he wasn’t the only one in the class pushing the limits of the radar guns pointed toward home plate.

Winn, the No. 2 shortstop in the class, was a member of the All Tournament Team for both batting and pitching. He hit .462 with a home run and three RBI, and on the mound he struck out five over three innings while pumping the fastball up to 98 mph.

Nicholas Griffin was up to 93 mph during his performance in Jupiter. Griffin is the No. 8 lefthanded pitcher in the class.

Gaberial Starks worked up to 94 mph across his two appearances.

And Markevian Hence, one of the classes earliest commitments, dominated on his way to an All Tournament Team selection, tossing five innings, while striking out eight, working with a fastball that touched 96 mph.

“Hence and Masyn, I watched both of them throw, they were both electric,” Wohlgemuth said. “I watched Cayden play a little bit, and he hit really good. Those were the guys I got to watch. Nick Griffin pitched during one of my time slots, so I didn’t get to watch him, but I heard he pitched really well.”

Wohlgemuth wore his Arkansas commitment with pride in Jupiter. He said he’s had no regrets since committing to play there in September of 2018.

Hence, who has been committed to play at Arkansas since the 10th grade, has worn that commitment like a patch of honor ever since that day. He’s from Pine Bluff, about three and a half hours away from Fayetteville.

If he wanted, he could have had his choice of school. But he took the first offer that came his way during his sophomore year, because he was only really looking for one offer – his home state school, Arkansas.

“Growing up, I always was a Hogs fan,” Hence said. “Then when they started looking at me and I took a visit there, just the atmosphere at the game and everything made it unreal…It doesn’t get any better than that. They’re one of the better programs in the SEC. Just being able to get them to look at me, that was big for me.”

He played with a couple Hog commits in Jupiter – Winn and Colton Sims. Both of them, plus Hence, are all top-100 prospects in the class. So too is Wohlgemuth, and Wallace, and Robert Moore, and Michael Brooks, and Griffin.

Perfect Game ranks the Arkansas recruiting class at No. 3 in the country, behind just Vanderbilt and Miami. It’s due partly for the top-level talent, and truly, it’s hits you right between the eyes when you look at the rankings. But it’s due also to the depth of the class, with 11 top-500 prospects and 18 signees overall, including eight from Arkansas, headlined by Wallace, Hence, and Griffin.

Who knows, maybe we will see this group in Omaha in a few years. It’s tough to say, because the future is impossible to predict.

But we got a glimpse of what the future might look like in Fayetteville at the World Championship in Jupiter this fall. And, well, it looks bright.

“It was just cool to see all of us that are going to the same school out there competing to the best of our ability and doing well,” Hence said.

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