Q&A With Minnesota Commit: '17 Bubba Horton, LHP/1B, Maple Grove

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By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Minnesota

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Name: Bubba Horton
Position: LHP/1B
Class: 2017
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 185-pounds
High School: Maple Grove
PBR Rank: #3 in MN 2017 Class  

PBR: Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
HORTON: I felt Minnesota could give me the best baseball/academic combination. The coaches stressed the importance of academics which is very important to me. I've been to the campus countless times due to its proximity to where I live, so I should have no problem transitioning to campus life.

PBR: What other schools were you considering?
HORTON: Schools I was considering include: Duke, Illinois, Arizona, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Concordia, Northwestern, Cincinnati, Washington, and UC Santa Barbara.

PBR: Where did the coaching staff first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?
HORTON: Coach Fornasiere first saw me during the legion season this summer (2015).  As a resident of Maple Grove, it was easy for him to come watch me play throughout the course of the summer, and Coach Oakes and Coach Anderson began to come watch later in the year. They then invited me to visit the campus and I was able to sit down with them and really get a feel for the coaches that I will be playing for.

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?
HORTON: Yes, definitely. I'm very fortunate to be able to find my dream school this early, and have the coaches want me as much as I want them. This spring I'll be able to play without as much pressure and I can focus solely on helping make Maple Grove the best team it can be.

PBR: Was there one deciding factor that put your choice over the top?
HORTON: There were a few factors that really sold me on Minnesota, but the main factor was the coaching staff and how comfortable I felt when I sat down and talked to them. The way they run the team and their focus on education really stood out to me. The distance from home, familiarity with the area, and quality of degree were also factors in my decision.

PBR: Who has helped you the most to get to where you are today?
HORTON: I would have to say Adam Barta. He really has helped me throughout the recruiting process in terms of contacting coaches, showcases, and answering all my questions. Barta was a major contributor in the process, and I am very thankful for all he has done. Also I appreciate my high school head coach, Darby Carlson, giving me the opportunity to play at such a young age.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easy/difficult?
HORTON: I didn't know what to expect at first, but soon got a feel for it. I would say it wasn't that difficult, but I had to be responsible enough to keep track of when I needed to contact coaches and when to make follow-up calls.

PBR: What plans does the coaching staff have in store for you in your freshman season?
HORTON: They expect me to be able to play. The role I will assume is unknown at this time, but they have every intention to see that I throw a fair share of innings.

PBR: What is your most memorable baseball moment to date?
HORTON: In the 11AAA State Tournament, I hit a 3-run home run in the semi-final against Anoka. We won the game 3-1 and it’s one of only 4 home runs I've ever hit.

PBR: Who is the best player that you have competed against?
HORTON: Michael Jensen from Holy Family Catholic.



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