Inside the Recruitment: '17 OF Steve Mann commits to Duke

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Steve Mann, OF, Country Day, 2017

Steve MannPBR: Why did you choose Duke?

Steve: I chose Duke because of the great education and the opportunity to attend the Fuqua School of Business. In addition, as a member of the ACC, Duke allows me to play against the best competition in the country every time I step on the field, helping to prepare me to reach my goal of playing professional baseball. The student-athlete life has a great feel for me and I felt comfortable as soon as I stepped on campus. The coaches were very welcoming and we formed a great relationship immediately.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?

Steve: I was considering Auburn, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and West Virginia among others.

PBR: Where did the Coach Pollard first see you?

Steve: Coach Pollard and staff saw me play for the first time at the Perfect Game Junior National Showcase.

PBR: What team do you play for in the summer and what is your most memorable moment?

Steve: I play for Arsenal Baseball in the summer. My most memorable experiences were playing our last regular season game at Comerica Park and participating in the Perfect Game Junior National showcase. It was amazing to hit homeruns out of both Comerica Park and JetBlue Park while competing with the nation’s top players in the 2017 class.

PBR: Duke is far from home do you feel the distance will affect you?

Steve: I do not believe being far from home will affect me because I feel very comfortable with the Duke coaching staff, team and the university. The family atmosphere within the team was obvious from the first time I met them. I also have had a lot of experience traveling away from home to play baseball across the country. I have a very close and supportive family. I know my parents, brother and sister will attend as many games as possible and I will see them often. 

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process?

Steve: Seeing my older sister go through her recruiting process for track and field, I had an idea of the amount of work that is involved to build relationships with the coaches and to narrow down what is most important to me. However, baseball was different from track and field because the process started much earlier and the summers were busy attending important showcase and tournament events in order to get the exposure I wanted.

PBR: Who is the toughest pitcher that you have faced?

Steve: I have faced many good pitchers in national showcases, but the best Michigan high school pitchers I faced last season and summer were Sam Benschoter (Tecumseh), Drake Titus (Orchard Lake St. Mary's), and Luke McGuire (Sterling Heights Stevenson).