LINCOLN — Fewer than two weeks after their official hire at Nebraska, Will Bolt and his staff have landed their first commitment.
Former Bellevue West pitcher Cade Povich became the first player to pledge to the new NU baseball coaches Friday afternoon following a tour of the facilities. A quick lunch to confer with his parents was all the lifelong Husker fan needed before announcing his decision.
"It was pretty easy for me," Povich told The World-Herald. "One of their goals is to bring more in-state kids to play at Nebraska. They said I just fit their picture of who they were looking for, and everything fell into place."
Povich, a left-hander, played his freshman season at South Mountain Community College in Arizona. Across 15 starts and 79⅔ innings, he struck out 82 batters and walked 18 to go with a 10-1 record and 1.58 earned-run average. He's immediately eligible as Nebraska seeks to replace its entire weekend rotation.
New NU recruiting coordinator Lance Harvell reached out to Povich "almost right away" after his hire. The hurler said he didn't draw recruiting interest from the previous staff and likely would have returned to South Mountain next spring if this opportunity hadn't popped up.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Povich throws both a two- and four-seam fastball along with a curveball, changeup and slider. His chat with new pitching coach Jeff Christy was persuasive, he said, because Christy is open to allowing pitchers to continue doing what works for them. Povich is invested in certain recovery methods and mechanical drills.
"One thing the coaches said is there's going to be a lot of opportunity," Povich said. "That comes from earning it."
Bolt has a track record of recruiting junior-college players from Nebraska. During his time at Texas A&M, the Aggies did so with infielder Michael Helman (Lincoln Pius X) and pitcher Nolan Hoffman (Lincoln Southeast). Another pitcher, Cam Wynne (Lincoln High), is part of their 2019 class. Bolt also found success in the strategy as an associate head coach at Nebraska when he brought in future All-Big Ten catcher Tanner Lubach (Lincoln Southwest) for the 2013 campaign.
Povich becomes another young candidate for a weekend rotation spot next year. Others include sophomores-to-be Colby Gomes, Shay Schanaman, Kyle Perry, Tyler Martin and Bo Blessie as well as junior-to-be Max Schreiber. A pair of Division I transfers, Gareth Stroh and Trey Kissack, are also in the mix after sitting out last season.