HILLSBORO – As swiftly as his recruitment came and went, it certainly didn’t feel that way for Caleb Dean.
But that only made Wednesday feel better for the Harker Heights senior, who signed his letter of intent to continue his baseball career at Hill College in a ceremony on the Rebels’ campus.
“It’s one of the best feelings that I’ve had so far – it’s such a relief,” Dean said. “The pressure’s off, I don’t have to press anymore.”
Dean, a shortstop, isn’t known for pressing on the baseball field, but after watching friends sign as early as last November, he admitted it was difficult to wait as long as he did to do the same.
Yet with his immediate baseball future decided now, Dean was finally able to look forward to his final season in a Knight baseball uniform.
“I’m just really looking forward to just relaxing and playing my game and just knowing how much harder I need to work,” Dean said.
The process of committing to Hill College was a short one for Dean, who said he got a phone call last fall from the Rebel coaching staff, which invited him to attend a practice with the team at Hillsboro.
After the practice, Hill was given a tour of the Rebels’ facilities, which left a big impression on him.
“I thought it was great,” Dean said. “It’s a nice campus, not too big. They have nice facilities, real nice locker rooms. All of their uniforms and facilities are really nice.”
Dean said the Rebels invited him to play for them a week later, and he gave his verbal commitment a week after that.
And Heights head coach Glenn Cunningham believes Hill is getting a player well-equipped to play at the next level after coaching him on the Heights varsity since his sophomore year.
“He’s a very intelligent baseball player. He knows the game well and he has a great arm and swings well,” Cunningham said. “Those are probably qualities that make him a good college player. He’s certainly got the strength to play there.”
Dean, of course, isn’t the only person looking forward to his senior season as Cunningham called him one of the Knights’ leaders on the field.
“He’s got tremendous work ethic,” Cunningham said, “and he’ll go out there and he’ll lead our guys by example more so than a voice.”
And now that he is officially a Hill College Rebel, Dean can focus on doing just that.