Nard 'Blown Away' By What Duke Had To Offer

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Nard 'Blown Away' By What Duke Had To Offer

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Gabriel Nard SS / RHP / Saint Ignatius, OH / 2022

SHAKER HEIGHTS - The decision came down to two schools, so Gabe Nard did a “recruiting tree” listing the pros and cons of each and came up with his college choice.

“Duke was the better fit,” explained the St. Ignatius sophomore, who decided on the Atlantic Coast Conference school over Michigan.

The Future Games and a Headfirst Camp in New York were the two main events where the two-way prospect was seen by Duke.

“Apparently they saw me a collection of eight times, but the two main viewings were the Future Games and Headfirst,” Nard pointed out. “I hit well at Headfirst and coach (Chris) Gordon was there and gave me the coach’s (Chris Pollard) number. I called them every weekend, and then went on campus

“I was blown away by the program, the stadium, the facilities, the coaching staff … and the academics,” Nard continued. “My parents have preached academics since I was young and Duke really fit that.”

It was one reason Michigan was also under consideration by the ninth-ranked 2022 in Ohio.

“I started talking with Michigan two years ago,” Nard said. “It really took off the first week I was in Georgia this summer. They were sitting on me five games. Then came the Future Games and I performed as well as I could. They offered me at the Future Games.”

While Xavier, Miami, Ohio State, Purdue and Northwestern had shown interest over the past three months, the decision came down to Duke and Michigan.

“I grew up in a household that values academics and Duke and Michigan marry both athletics and academics,” Nard explained. “Those are what’s important to me. Those two are really good programs that stood out and showed interest.”

But in the end, it was Duke that came out on top.

“They like that I have the potential to play early,” the 5-11 160-pounder said. “I have the skill set to hit the ball hard and also pitch. They view me primarily as a shortstop but also a closer. They see me getting playing time as a freshman.”

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