Hi, my son is a '22 catcher looking at HA schools. I'm wondering if anyone has opinions about either/both the baseball and academics at Davidson. From afar I've been impressed with Rucker Taylor (both results, video of him I've seen, and I like the fact he got an MBA after playing at Vandy) but my exposure is limited (we're on the left coast). Greatly appreciate any feedback you can provide here or in PM. Thanks very much and hope your respective quarantines are going as well as can be hoped. 

Original Post

Hi 

My son plays there and I have nothing but great things to say about the school, program, coaches and the quality young men on the team. 

I will PM you my contact information if you’d like to talk about anything specific

 

Rucker is a good guy, he recruited my son and we talked once.  Seems like a straight shooter.  My older (non-athlete daughter) graduated in 2019.  She narrowed down her college options to Davidson, Princeton, and Vandy decided on Davidson due to the kinds of students she encountered there. 

ALF - Tell me if I am off on this part:  Rucker told me that after getting to the Super Regionals and nearly eliminating A&M, they increased baseball scholarships to 7.  Very good alumni support for baseball (probably all sports).  For instance, when they had to travel to St Bonaventure last May, I think they had a charter provided by an alum.

Even if you don't get athletic money, there are gobs of merit / academic money.

Last edited by Texas1836
You are right on the scholarships. I believe there is the expectation that
they will continue to get closer to the 11.7.

They were able to raise the funds to turf the infield this winter as well
and Wilson Field is really spectacular now.

It’s a pretty special place and the baseball is on the rise

On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 9:37 AM HS Baseball Web <alerts@crowdstack.com>
wrote:

My son did a camp there in January, and enjoyed everything about it.  Great school, staff seems terrific, and they came out of the gates really strong this season.  Like everywhere else have no idea what the impact will be on recruiting for our 2021, we'll just have to go with the flow and wait and see.  

Thanks to all for your replies. As ALF knows, my son got the chance to visit Davidson on a family trip to S. Carolina (little detour). He's a city kid but he loved the campus and the feel of the town. 

Oski - Glad you visited Davidson.  Here are a few more of my observations.

The football team used to be horrible, winning -0- to one or two games a year.  Then about three years ago, the AD was replaced and so was the football coach.  The team immediately got better.  In 2019, they either led or were near the top in some offensive statistics, don't recall which.  Of course this is a function of competition among other things.  But I bring up football because of the improvement.  It was as if the board and / or president thought, "We're better than this.  We can't settle for sub-mediocrity in sports, we wouldn't in academics."  They clearly care about winning in baseball as well.

The president Carol Quillen is very engaged with the student body, not unlike many liberal arts schools presidents, but she is extra-visible and known personally by students and parents.  Her annual comp is on the low end of peers and that reflects the school's focus on instruction, not administration.  The AD is modestly compensated also.  

The school does emphasize service.

Greek system is fairly low-key.  There are fraternities but no sororities, the girls have eating houses.

If your boy wants a city feel, you know that Davidson may not be his place.  However, I think a lot of kids (at least mine) don't really know what they like.  My boy wanted a NE school and had been to Davidson a lot so he knew the feel, still I would have liked his being there.  Add that to the long list of things that we don't feel the same about.

You mention academics.  I think Davidson is like most of the better liberal arts schools.  The professors have a reputation for giving a lot of homework but I think that depends on a kid's HS experience.  

Keep us updated on your boy.

Last edited by Texas1836

Texas, thanks for that thoughtful reply. Wasn't aware of the new AD - it's encouraging to hear that there's a good sports/academic balance. 

My kid is looking at HA schools but he's a ballplayer and wants to play at the highest level possible. Davidson is really intriguing from that perspective. 

It's one of two schools in the South he's looking at - the rest are northern schools (our deal is he has to live outside of the Cali bubble for four years). Fortunately he is an eager and pretty accomplished fly fisherman so that's a point in favor of more rural environments. Will keep the board updated and thanks again for your response. 

Oski-  we didn’t talk about this, but there is a solid fishing culture at Davidson. My son also lives to fish. As a freshman, baseball took up ALL of his non-academic time, but in January he finally found out that a kid on his floor was fishing all the time. They had planned a weekend trip in April to some secret spots during a day or two where there were no games and the team was getting a break. I’ve seen the trout pictures from that spot and they are legit. 

Another bummer about school closures. 

+1 on Texas above. The AD is a good guy and is very visible at the baseball games

Good to hear. The spreadsheet off of which we work has all sorts of data about class size, depth chart, etc. The last column is proximity to quality fishing. Could be a tiebreaker. 

Thanks for all of the information here so far. Great topic. I too have a 2022 with Davidson on his list of schools. I have heard from several families from my kids school here in MN that Davidson is a wonderful school and community. None of these families or kids play baseball. They are purely academic folks (which is what most kids are at my kids school are).

@ALF648 and others what was the recruiting timeline of sorts for your son with Davidson? According to PG & PBR commits there is only 1 commit for 2021 and zero 2022's. It looks like they had 8 - 2019's and 8 - 2020's. 

Thank you!

From our perspective (RHP/1B 2021) it's this summer.  Obviously things can be completely up in the air given fluid situation, but as our son is on a HA D1/D3 path, it's always been a matter of getting on radars last year, and then looking to finalize things at the earliest this summer.  Don't think Davidson's timeline will be much different, as you say it doesn't look like they do much early recruiting. 

 

Wechson - I think you are on the right recruiting path.  

used2lurk - My boy was born at Fairview Edina July 10, 2002.

Last edited by Texas1836

I agree with the above.  Pretty standard recruiting timeline. They do seem to lock in a few kids early and then fill the rest spring and summer of junior year. 

There are a few kids every year that don’t show up on PG et al.  My son did not...

one of their senior starters this year is from MN...

smokeminside posted:

I'd send my kid there in a heartbeat.

Me too!  My son has been to one of their camps and has been communicating with them, but I'm not sure how realistic his prospects are there.  I suspect he's not at or near the top of their list, but my son would love to play for Coach Taylor.

Since most people wish they could go to Davidson (and their boys too!) it unfortunately unlikely to happen for all of us.  I am hoping to have an introduction or reunion with a bunch of people from this place when my 2022 is in college at Davidson or elsewhere. 

I heard on a podcast interview with Coach Taylor that there were 18 D1 baseball teams in North Carolina (he was talking about their great mid-week schedule and opponents in the area). I then checked and saw that there are 11 more teams in South Carolina and 13 more in Virginia plus countless others within several hours in PA/NJ/NY/MD. Everyone knows about the Ivies and Vanderbilt/Duke/UNC/other well known schools/programs that are excellent academic institutions along with being excellent in athletics. 

What are some other under the radar teams at D1 that are considered on the more HA end of the educational scale? What are some other schools that some of you folks who are familiar with the area and schools feel like someone who likes Davidson should check out? 

William & Mary, High Point, Furman, Richmond, Georgetown...others?

I might add Lehigh. Out here UCSD is moving up from D2 to the Big West. Outstanding school and really good D2 program that I'm confident will do well over time in the BW. I teach there so take this with a huge grain of salt. 

Thanks @OskiSD! My 2020 is playing hockey at Holy Cross next year, Both Lehigh and Holy Cross are in the same baseball conference...the Patriot League. Really not a bad academic option in the whole conference! 

used2lurk posted:

Since most people wish they could go to Davidson (and their boys too!) it unfortunately unlikely to happen for all of us.  I am hoping to have an introduction or reunion with a bunch of people from this place when my 2022 is in college at Davidson or elsewhere. 

I heard on a podcast interview with Coach Taylor that there were 18 D1 baseball teams in North Carolina (he was talking about their great mid-week schedule and opponents in the area). I then checked and saw that there are 11 more teams in South Carolina and 13 more in Virginia plus countless others within several hours in PA/NJ/NY/MD. Everyone knows about the Ivies and Vanderbilt/Duke/UNC/other well known schools/programs that are excellent academic institutions along with being excellent in athletics. 

What are some other under the radar teams at D1 that are considered on the more HA end of the educational scale? What are some other schools that some of you folks who are familiar with the area and schools feel like someone who likes Davidson should check out? 

William & Mary, High Point, Furman, Richmond, Georgetown...others?

In the South, it might be worth looking at Rhodes College in Tennessee.  I believe Rhodes has been gaining a reputation for its baseball.  Elon has been quickly moving up US News rankings over the last ten years.  It's quite popular with kids in the Atlanta area who have been finding it harder and harder to get into UGA.  If you're not too concerned about the baseball side of things, Sewanee, also in Tennessee, will give you a very good education.  

used2lurk posted:

 

What are some other under the radar teams at D1 that are considered on the more HA end of the educational scale? What are some other schools that some of you folks who are familiar with the area and schools feel like someone who likes Davidson should check out? 

William & Mary, High Point, Furman, Richmond, Georgetown...others?

Does it have to be D1?  If Davidson is the comp you're going to find a whole lot more matching schools in D3 than D1. 

used2lurk - I personally like W&M.  A bit bigger than "small" and a pretty good school.  My boy went to a camp there November of his junior year.  He stayed in touch with them, but they eventually got a SS who de-committed from Virginia.  Don't know if that mattered or not.  Field is natural, a short drive from campus.  They have an indoor facility at the field.  Cullen Large (Bluejays farmhand) went there and his mom is on this site.  If I can recall her handle, I will let you know.

High Point is known for very nice dorms and student amenities.  That is all I know.

Boy went to Richmond camp twice, summers after sophomore and junior years.  I like Tracy Woodson a lot.  When my boy was near committing, my wife called and talked to Tracy just about baseball stuff.  I have always appreciated his clear communication style.  Whenever he talks to a group of parents, he will tell them that he wants bigger players.  A LHP from our school is a freshman there.  He is also very positive on Woodson.  

Georgetown has been at the bottom of the Big East for a while.  Good conference and it may be hard to recruit at the Big East level.  Coach Wilk is different.

Joe Kinney just retired from Lafayette and Tim Reilly got the job.  My boy texted him to congratulate him and they texted back and forth for a bit.  The campus is not in a bad area, but off campus is more of a gritty feel than say W&M for instance.  Their field is way off campus.  Nice setup with indoor facility, but a hike.

Bucknell has not put together the kind of record that I would expect over the past few years.  Not sure the reason.  Lewisburg is not so easy to get to, I guess you can tell that by looking on a map.  Looks bucolic from here.  I have not been there.  Boy liked Coach O'Neil a lot.  

Here is another snippet on Davidson.  If a current student (maybe also incoming, not sure) cannot pay tuition etc for 2020-2021, they will defer payment with no interest or penalty for a year.  This is so "Davidson".   

Rhodes and especially Sewanee are a much different level of ball.

Hope this helps.

Thank you @JCG & @Texas1836. JC there is a lot about the NESCAC on this board and I am pretty familiar with most of them thru my daughters recruiting journey. I would love to learn more about some others that people love/respect. WashU, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Swarthmore, etc are all pretty known quantities but not much is known by me (and maybe others) about some others that are more regional. 

Love all of the info Tex. Thank you for your opinion on those schools you and your son have had some personal experience with. Those tidbits of info are valued. The limited info I have heard about Georgetown Baseball has not been very positive. From where the ballpark is to something like Coach Wilk is different...

Anyone have much experience with other Big East schools like Villanova, Creighton, Butler, Seton Hall (plenty of MLB guys from there!), and others?

 

 

@used2lurk posted:

 

Anyone have much experience with other Big East schools like Villanova, Creighton, Butler, Seton Hall (plenty of MLB guys from there!), and others?

I can't even fathom how difficult the travel schedule is for Creighton - Seattle, San Jose St., UNLV, Villanova, Houston Baptist, Xavier, St. Johns... Road warriors.  This is something to think about, in particular since education is primary for students at these schools.

@OskiSD posted:

I might add Lehigh. Out here UCSD is moving up from D2 to the Big West. Outstanding school and really good D2 program that I'm confident will do well over time in the BW. I teach there so take this with a huge grain of salt. 

UC San Diego 

 

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2019 EADA Baseball Expenses 2010 - 2019 , W/L Percentage

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@LuckyCat posted:

In the South, it might be worth looking at Rhodes College in Tennessee.  I believe Rhodes has been gaining a reputation for its baseball.  Elon has been quickly moving up US News rankings over the last ten years.  It's quite popular with kids in the Atlanta area who have been finding it harder and harder to get into UGA.  If you're not too concerned about the baseball side of things, Sewanee, also in Tennessee, will give you a very good education.  

Rhodes Insights

 

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Some insights are still being reconciled, e.g. Transfers

 

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If you're looking for schools similar to Davidson - JMU really impressed me. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, beautiful campus and facilities.

Other good academic schools at the D1 level in that area would be Maryland (although better baseball), Delaware, Richmond. Although not as strong academically - Old Dominion and Campbell are also in the area with good baseball. 

As far as the Big East: 

St. Johns and Seton Hall have good baseball. Neither are considered HA but nothing wrong with a degree from either school. Baseball at Seton Hall is the #2 sport behind basketball. They have a new stadium but the school is in a very bad area. St. Johns recruits very well from NY, NJ, PA and gets draft talent. Located in Queens, not exactly a beautiful area either. St. Johns will get the more highly touted commits, but Seton Hall clearly does a decent job of developing them into pro talent as well. 

Georgetown and Villanova - you're going for the education. 

Last edited by PABaseball
@PABaseball posted:

If you're looking for schools similar to Davidson - JMU really impressed me. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, beautiful campus and facilities.

Other good academic schools at the D1 level in that area would be Maryland (although better baseball), Delaware, Richmond. Although not as strong academically - Old Dominion and Campbell are also in the area with good baseball. 

As far as the Big East: 

St. Johns and Seton Hall have good baseball. Neither are considered HA but nothing wrong with a degree from either school. Baseball at Seton Hall is the #2 sport behind basketball. They have a new stadium but the school is in a very bad area. St. Johns recruits very well from NY, NJ, PA and gets draft talent. Located in Queens, not exactly a beautiful area either. St. Johns will get the more highly touted commits, but Seton Hall clearly does a decent job of developing them into pro talent as well. 

Georgetown and Villanova - you're going for the education. 

Agree with these, however I’d caution that many of these schools recruit earlier than some of the other more selective HA schools.  JMU (great program/campus, agreed) for instance has 8-10 signed up for 2021.

@PABaseball posted:

If you're looking for schools similar to Davidson - JMU really impressed me. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, beautiful campus and facilities.

Other good academic schools at the D1 level in that area would be Maryland (although better baseball), Delaware, Richmond. Although not as strong academically - Old Dominion and Campbell are also in the area with good baseball. 

As far as the Big East: 

St. Johns and Seton Hall have good baseball. Neither are considered HA but nothing wrong with a degree from either school. Baseball at Seton Hall is the #2 sport behind basketball. They have a new stadium but the school is in a very bad area. St. Johns recruits very well from NY, NJ, PA and gets draft talent. Located in Queens, not exactly a beautiful area either. St. Johns will get the more highly touted commits, but Seton Hall clearly does a decent job of developing them into pro talent as well. 

Georgetown and Villanova - you're going for the education. 

St. Johns

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2019 Player Distribution by State

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2018 Player Distribution by State

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2020 Team Roster Insights

 

 

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2019 Team Roster Insights

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2018 Team Roster Insights

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As this thread unfolds to consider a broader set of schools, I recently learned of a HA school in the A10 that has cut a large number of players since the season was cancelled.  It seems likely that the extra year of eligibility and the possibility  of transfer mayhem is having an impact here.

So, when considering programs and schools it probably makes sense now to also look at the behavior/decisions made by coaching staffs as kids and parents are thinking about where to play in college

@ALF648 posted:

As this thread unfolds to consider a broader set of schools, I recently learned of a HA school in the A10 that has cut a large number of players since the season was cancelled.  It seems likely that the extra year of eligibility and the possibility  of transfer mayhem is having an impact here.

So, when considering programs and schools it probably makes sense now to also look at the behavior/decisions made by coaching staffs as kids and parents are thinking about where to play in college

fyi, this was the d1baseball transfer tracker as of yesterday.

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@Wechson posted:

Interesting.  Lots of HA players looking to get that (4th) 5th year as a Grad student

Maybe I'm starved for inspiration right now but I am inspired by young men who go through the transfer hassle for one last year of baseball and a graduate degree.  

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