Q&A with VCU Commit Nick Atkinson

By Sammy Serrano
Director of Scouting

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with VCU commit Nick Atkinson.  The 5-foot-11, 175-pound, OF, from Osbourn Park, is a tremendous athlete with outstanding speed and the ability to run down balls in the outfield.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Atkinson: I knew it would be long and stressful but it would feel great once I committed.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Atkinson: First off a good education, and a solid program that has a good chance to win a lot of games with good coaches to help me get better.  I also wanted to play for a program that gave me the best chance to get drafted. I see all of this at VCU. 

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Atkinson: Yes, VCU is only 2 hours from my house so my family can come down and see me play.

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?

Atkinson:  The process really started to heat up during my junior high school season. Coach Ferrick helped me a lot by contacting coaches to come watch the games.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them? 

Atkinson: During my sophomore summer. My first tournament with the Stars at UVA. I believe I played very well and sparked some interest from coaches. VCU was at a lot of our games at UVA and saw me. I had a very good relationship with the staff from that point forward.  We spoke every week until I was ready to make a decision.

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Atkinson: I believe I can get a very good education at VCU and I like the campus a lot. They have a solid baseball program and we'll have a chance to win a championship. They also have good baseball facilities. It will be nice playing in the Flying Squirrel's stadium. I built up a relationship with the coaches and I believe they can help all of the players succeed on the field.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Atkinson: Penn State, UNC Asheville, Maine, Rhode Island, and George Mason.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Atkinson:  Nick Wells from Battlefield. We knew we were going to face him at least once last year. He was a good challenge for our team. His fastball was by far the fastest we had seen and he had a sharp curve to keep us off balance. We prepared well against him and won the game.

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?

Atkinson:  My sophomore high school season. I had a good season for a sophomore and in the summer with the Stars I realized that I had a special talent when I had a few colleges contact me.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Atkinson: To keep working hard and never give up your dream of playing baseball at the next level because somewhere, there's a school for you. 

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Atkinson: For OP our double header against Battlefield. The first make up game we had a come from behind walk off win in extra innings and then the second game we had a great team win against a very good pitcher in Nick Wells.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Atkinson:  It'll be a grind this year. We lost 13 seniors but we have a few solid players returning and a good JV program last year that had players that will make a big impact on the varsity team this year. Our goal this year, like every year. Is to win the conference, region, and states.  

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?
Atkinson:  In the summer I play for the Stars. My favorite thing about it is that we compete with the best teams in the country. Also, the relationships with my teammates and coaches. We were a very close team. It was nice to meet and play with people from different areas of Virginia and Maryland and it'll be fun to play with and against them in college.

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