Casey Schroeder discusses his recent commitment to Kentucky

After making a commitment to the University of Tennessee last winter, Ottawa Glandorf's Casey Schroeder thought his college plans were set. But, with the firing of Tennessee’s coaching staff, Schroeder found himself reopening his recruiting process. With a desire to play in the Southeastern Conference, the talented catcher eventually committed to the University of Kentucky. Read more about the path towards his final commitment.
PBR: After you re-opened your recruitment, prior to committing to Kentucky which other schools were you considering?
Schroeder: North Carolina, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Coastal Carolina, Penn State
PBR: Ultimately why did you commit to Kentucky?
Schroeder: Coach Bohannon and Coach Green from UK came to my house to give my family and I information about their university.  Both my family and I really liked them a lot.  I have always wanted to play in the SEC and UK will give me that opportunity. The fact that Lexington is only three hours away from home really was important too.  This will allow my parents to come watch me play every weekend.
PBR: After Tennessee hired Coach Serrano, when and why did you know you wanted to re-open your recruitment?
Schroeder: I waited a week or two after the decision was made to gather information and to see if I would hear anything from UT.  I didn't hear much and found that the whole staff had been fired.  I didn't want to go to a school with a coaching staff that didn’t recruit me so I decided to reopen my recruitment. 
PBR: The summer was a busy one for you, between the East Coast Pro Showcase and USA Trials, which event was your favorite and why?
Schroeder: East Coast Pro was my favorite.  It is probably the best baseball experience of my life.  It was great to learn about and sort of live the "pro Lifestyle."  Playing against that level of competition was really fun and challenging.  I thought I did really well and enjoyed every day that I was there.
PBR: You also player for Napoleon's Legion team, what was that experience like?
Schroeder: It was great.  I had a blast playing for them this summer.  I met a lot of the guys the previous fall playing ball.  We were a good team with a deep pitching staff and a ton of solid hitters.  Our coaches were first class people that brought a lot of energy to the team.  We had a long season and accomplished a lot, including a state title.
PBR: Northwest Ohio high school baseball doesn't typically get the credit it deserves. What would you say of the teams and players you've faced and how they stack up?
Schroeder: In my area baseball is kind of low on the totem pole compared to basketball.  However, I feel the Defiance area is loaded with talent.  A huge part of this is because of Defiance baseball coach Tom Held.  I credit him with a lot of my success.  General Manager of the Napoleon Legion Randy Bachman does several things to promote the sport of baseball in our area along with Shane Coleman, head coach of the Napoleon River Bandits.  Gene Stechschulte, former pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, helps a lot of local pitchers.  Tim Lones of the training facility F.A.S.T. helps produce many athletes in northwest Ohio.
PBR: How is playing over the summer different than during the spring?
Schroeder: Well obviously there is a big change in the weather.  In the summer you play against kids that want to play the game.  Teams consist of the best players from several schools and the competition is better.  It is a lot more fun.
PBR: As a catcher how do you keep fresh and being able to catch as many games as you have?
Schroeder: Playing shortstop this spring helped.  I didn't catch at all.  This summer we had three catchers and rotated pretty evenly.  I work out all the time to stay strong and stretch to stay flexible.
PBR: As you enter your senior season, which honor in your first three years has meant the most to you?
Schroeder: Being Invited to the East Cost Pro Showcase and the Team USA Tournament of Stars.
PBR: Going into your final year which area of your game would you most like to improve and what goals do you have?
Schroeder: I just want to continue to get bigger, faster, and stronger, and to keep improving my game.