Bellevue Wests Jaxon Jelkin commits to Nebraska

Cole Peterson
PBR Nebraska Staff

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When senior pitcher Jaxon Jelkin saw his high school career come to an end in the Class A state tournament, he had a feeling it wouldn’t be his last time at Haymarket Park.

Following a spectacular season where Jelkin dominated during the spring, Nebraska jumped on the in-state talent originally committed to South Mountain CC. He is now set to be the ninth Nebraska native to join the Huskers, a team that has had its eye on the right-hander for a while.

While wearing the red and white has always been a dream of his, he was told no spots were available for Jelkin in a jam-packed 2021 recruiting class. However, following a spectacular spring season he was given the opportunity to join Nebraska as a walk-on pitcher.

“They told me to keep working and I’d be at the top of their list, so I kept that in the back of my mind for a while,” Jelkin said in an interview. “Obviously I had a good spring season and they extended me an offer and I jumped on it right away.”

During his final season with Bellevue West, he threw 52.1 innings on the mound and struck out 80 batters. A dominant performance in his final game pitching came against Fremont Bergan in the state tournament, where he struck out 15 batters and threw a complete-game shutout.

The progression has been remarkable for Jelkin who sported a lankier body type, weighing only 125 pounds while standing six feet tall coming into high school. Although he hasn’t always had the prototypical frame many college coaches look for entering high school, he found the answer quick: the weight room. 

“I put on a lot of weight, around 30 or pounds, and finally got really into lifting this past year,” Jelkin said. “We had morning weights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I didn’t miss a single one my senior year and it showed me a lot.”

Not only did it show in terms of his body size, but it also added serious velocity to his powerful fastball, jumping from 84-85 mph to low 90s. Add that with a 12-6 curveball that dives straight down and a swing-and-miss type slider, Jelkin projects as a crafty pitcher at the next level.

He gives credit in his development to his coaches at Bellevue West. Both have played crucial roles in helping him maximize his potential and put himself in a position to keep playing at the next level.

“If I have one little off day, coach Povich is always on it in terms of what I was doing wrong and giving me advice,” Jelkin said. “Coach Shockey is probably one the greatest coaches I’ve played for in my life, and he’s done tremendous things for me.” 

However, baseball has always been a centerpiece in Jelkin’s life even as a younger kid, with his dad guiding him along the way. One attitude has remained constant with him his entire life, baseball is more of a mental game than anything.

Jelkin said always coming out with the mindset of giving your all and dominating your opponent has put him in the best position to succeed. Being around his parents and hearing their advice has pushed him to become a baseball player at the next level.

“My dad has been the biggest guidance in my life, and it’s always been me taking in all of the information he’s telling me,” Jelkin said. “Getting me to trust my stuff and keeping my mind right has been the thing that has honestly helped me the most on the mound.”

 Now standing at 6-foot-5, 175 pounds, Jelkin continues his playing days at Bellevue West in his final legion season this summer. In the fall, he will head down to Lincoln and join the Huskers for his freshman season at Nebraska.

“Obviously you want to represent your home state and wear that N on your chest to hold the pride that comes with it,” Jelkin said. “I couldn’t be more excited to get started and be a Husker next season.”