Prep Baseball Report

PBR IA Commitment Spotlight- Gabe Swansen, MIF, Johnston

Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Iowa

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PBR: Why did you choose the school you did?
SWANSEN:  I really enjoyed the coaching staff, their energy, the facilities are incredible and the competition they play.  Plus it's a great academic school so I thought they had a lot to offer.  And with it being 3 hours away from home it was close enough where my parents could come watch games as well. 

PBR: What other schools were you considering?
SWANSEN: Iowa, Arkansas Little Rock, Niagra, Iowa Western, DMACC and a few others. After my high school sophomore season I started getting invited to a number of showcases and those went well.  All of the schools were great and it was good to see a number of different places.

PBR: Where did the coaching staff first see you? How did your relationship develop with him?
SWANSEN: Coach Harvell contacted me and asked me to attend a showcase at Nebraska.  It was a two day showcase with a lot of hitting involved and that went well. After I attended, things moved quickly and I made up my mind that was the best fit in a couple of weeks.  I really appreciated the energy the staff brought and the vision they had for me in their program.

PBR: Do you feel relieved now that the process is over and you can just focus on baseball and not deal with everything that goes into picking a school?
SWANSEN: Yeah, it was pretty stressful and things moved quickly.  For a while, there was some interest from a lot of schools and then things kind of went crazy for a few weeks with a lot of calls and texts from a number of schools, so that was fun but stressful.  It really helped to get invited to so many showcases so the coaches could see me, I could get to know them a bit and see the facilities and campus.  That helped me feel more sure about the decision and why Nebraska felt like a great place for me.

PBR: Was there one deciding factor that put your choice over the top?
SWANSEN: I think it was a combination of things.  The coaches, facilities, competition and the academics.

PBR: Who has helped you the most to get to where you are today?
SWANSEN: I've been lucky to have a lot of great people around me.  My high school coach, Coach Barta at Johnston and the other coaches are awesome.  They make us work a lot and have created a culture of success.  They've made things a lot of fun, but he's pushed me hard and it's made me a lot better.  The Iowa Sticks has been incredible as well and all the guys there, plus playing with and against great players.  I've done a lot of training with Karter Schulte there and he's pushed me hard to help me get bigger and stronger.  I've added nearly 80 lbs since the beginning of my freshman year and he's been a big help.

I've also done a lot of hitting with Richard Schenck, who works with a number of MLB guys including Aaron Judge.  That's been a huge help and my Dad has helped me on that path as well.  Our garage has been turned into a batting cage so we hit all the time.  It's been fun to spend so much time with my Dad and we've had a lot of fun working at it

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easy/difficult?
SWANSEN: I was really undersized as a 8th and 9th grader, so it took until after my 10th grade year before people started noticing me, so it went from nothing to a lot in a short time period. It was different than I thought it would be, as at times it can be a bit frustrating waiting.  But then things kind of happened all at once with a lot of schools and that was a bit stressful.  I'm glad Coach Barta, my mom and dad were there to help me with it. 

PBR: What plans does the coaching staff have in store for you in your freshman season?
SWANSEN: They see me as a guy who can play the corners or second base.  The main thing is they think I can be a middle of the order hitter for them.  I just want to go in and compete and keep working on getting better.

PBR: What is your most memorable baseball moment to date?
SWANSEN: That's an easy one.  Winning the 4a high school state tournament this year.  We lost in the finals last year and it felt great to win it this year with all of the teammates and coaches.

PBR: Who is the best player that you have competed against?
SWANSEN: Best player I've been around and was lucky enough to play with is Peyton Williams.  I learned a lot from him on how he handles things and he's been a good friend and helped me along the way.