Q&A with Memphis Commit Sam Nozicka

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2016 catcher Sam Nozicka of Grayslake Central recently committed to the university of Memphis. Nozicka is currently ranked No. 95 in the Illinois Class of 2016. A four year member of the Grayslake Central varsity squad, Nozicka is a defense first catcher with solid catch and throws tools. Here is a report on him form this summer.

6.18.15 - 5-foot-11, 180-pound catcher, average solid build, compact, solid lower half. Good catch and throw prospect, short over the top arm action, accurate arm, on the bag, 77 mph out of the crouch. Showed soft hands, quick clean exchange. Pop times ranged 1.93-2.07. Solid receiver in bullpens. Right-handed hitter, open stance, short to even stride. Line drive type hitter, mid to opposite field approach. Fast bat, 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Nozicka: I did not have any expectations about the recruiting process. An opportunity like this is never expected. You just hope that you work hard enough and get in front of the right people to move ahead with your baseball career.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Nozicka: I was looking for the right fit for myself and my family with good coaches, program and facilities.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Nozicka: Location did not really play a factor in my decision, but I preferred to head somewhere that had warm weather.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Nozicka: My varsity coach, Troy Whalen started me on my path at a PBR event freshman year. I continued to showcase at PBR, Perfect Games and several colleges with baseball tournaments. I knew that I was on the radar as I would hear from coaches of several colleges.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Nozicka: Coach Greene, the recruiting coordinator, saw me play at the Chicagoland Classic Showcase at UIC. Our relationship developed almost immediately. 

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Nozicka: I connected well with the coaches. University of Memphis has exceptional academic programs, baseball facilities and a very beautiful campus as well.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Nozicka: That realization came to me when I played on the varsity team which took third in State in my freshman year.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Nozicka: Hard work is key! Don't let anyone change your mind when it is your dream!

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Nozicka: The most memorable experiences would be our varsity team going to State back to back.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Nozicka: The goal every year is Joliet. We have a tight group of seniors, and we always look to compete.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Nozicka: I have played with the Lake Forest Slammers and Phillies Scout Team. I enjoyed playing the Perfect Game Tournaments with both of the teams.

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