Inside the Recruitment: '17 SS/RHP Jacob Raymond commits to Oakland

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Inside the Recruitment: '17 SS/RHP Jacob Raymond commits to Oakland

Jacob RaymondJacob Raymond, SS/RHP, Utica Eisenhower, 2017

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?
Jacob: I really was not sure what to expect. I hoped it would be a quick process and for the most part it was. It was pretty easy overall, but had difficult moments. Setting up the visits can be tricky, but getting to see all the different schools and meeting all the coaches was a great experience.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?
Jacob: I was hoping that I would have an opportunity to play at the Division 1 level,  Or the highest level that I could. I was hoping for the opportunity to play early in my career. I wanted to be part of a program that could help me develop as a player and I could help that program be successful. Oakland University offered me all of these things.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?
Jacob: I was hoping to stay in state if possible. I would like my family to be able to see me play and watch my career as they have been such a big part of it to this point. Oakland was the perfect fit for me as far as location.

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?
Jacob: The process started to heat up for me this spring with my High School season. I had some attention, but I started to really get more looks after the Top Prospect Games at EMU.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?
Jacob: I believe that Oakland first saw me at Macomb CC. I was playing on a summer team that I was a sub for and I had a pretty solid tournament that weekend. Our relationship started out slowly as compared to some other schools. But in the end I was most comfortable with them.  

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?
Jacob: I like everything about Oakland. I really like the Coaching Staff and really felt like they wanted me to be part of their program. I like that Oakland will provide me an opportunity to play with great players and against the best players at the Division 1 level. I like that the 3 coaches I will have all have MLB experience and know what it takes to get to that level. I like the campus and the facilities as well. OU had everything I wanted in a college.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?
Jacob: A few of the other schools that I had opportunities with were Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Saginaw Valley State University and Northwood.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?
Jacob: There are so many great players here in Michigan in both High School and Travel. Luke McGuire is always a threat both as a hitter and a pitcher and was probably one of the best I faced this year.

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?
Jacob: It has always been a dream of mine to play college baseball. I have worked my whole career to hopefully play at that level. It was the end of last year and the beginning of this season. All my numbers began to increase as I grew and I began to think I was getting closer and closer to being at that level.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?
Jacob: The advice I would give to young players is to never stop chasing your dream. Never stop working to be a better player and person on and off the field. My summer coaches and sponsor always tell us “work hard, have fun and be a great teammate”. This is pretty good advice.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?
Jacob: I have been fortunate to play with so many amazing players, on so many great teams, with so many outstanding coaches, at so many incredible places that my whole baseball career has been a memorable moment.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?
Jacob: Playing at Eisenhower the goal is always to win the MAC Red and make it to the State Championship. I think our team will have a lot of success this coming season. We lost some key players but will be adding guys that should help fill those holes. I know Coach Gendreau will continue to do a great job and will have us ready to compete against anyone.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?
Jacob: I play for Little Caesars Baseball in the Summer. I have played with them since age 12. My teammates and I are so close, they are like brothers to me. We make memories every time we are together. On or off the field, I have made some of the best friends I could ever ask for. Every minute I have spent with these guys is a positive memory.