He saw the 92,000 fans in Sanford Stadium, and if Tucker Maxwell wasn’t already convinced, he was now.
That was a month ago, when Maxwell, a junior center fielder at Lambert, took a visit to the University of Georgia. Already, he’d started weighing the pros and cons of his possible college baseball future. Maybe Ole Miss, an SEC contender. Or Vanderbilt, the defending national champion.
But that day, the choice was clear, so Maxwell made it this past Saturday, verbally committing to the Bulldogs.
“They’re close to home, and the guy I hit with, if I ever struggled, he’s only an hour away from UGA,” Maxwell said. “They have a small recruiting class, and the school’s just very nice.”
Maxwell took over in centerfield last season when his brother, Brock, who now plays at the University of South Carolina, graduated. He hit .404 (40-for-99) and scored 36 runs with seven doubles, six home runs and 27 RBI to help the Longhorns win the Class AAAAAA championship and finish ranked No. 1 by two national publications. Maxwell was one of the most productive Longhorns at the plate in that championship series against Milton, going 6-for-8 with two RBI. A few weeks later, Georgia offered Maxwell.
Maxwell became the third Lambert starting outfielder to commit to a marquee Division I program, joining Jeremy Johnson (Auburn) and Seth Beer (Clemson), who like Maxwell made his commitment this past Saturday.
It’s a remarkable situation not lost on the trio.
“Jeremy talks about it the most because Jeremy’s the most talkative of the bunch,” Maxwell said. “He always brings it up. But, yeah, we talk about it a good bit.”
And it figures to only elevate expectations for Lambert this season. Maxwell and Beer bring the Longhorns’ number of players verbally committed to play in college to eight. Six are committed to Division I schools.
But Maxwell maintains the Longhorns plan to forget about going 36-2, the state title or the national championship talk.
“For the team, we just need to go back and act like last year never happened and try to repeat it,” Maxwell said.