Wabash Valley —
Danny Etling’s trek to being a big-time college quarterback took a huge step this week when the Terre Haute South junior picked up a scholarship offer from Purdue, according to 247sports.com.
Indiana State was the earliest to make Etling an official offer, and the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is also hearing regularly from Cincinnati, Colorado, Illinois and Tennessee.
Last fall, Etling threw for 1,537 yards and nine touchdowns with just six interceptions in the state’s toughest conference.
“The big thing is he’s very talented,” Raetz told 247sports.com. “It’s a combination of things. He’s very talented but at the same time he’s very driven. He’s very intelligent and smart, and he has great leadership skills.
“He’s a big strong kid,” Raetz continued. “Right now he’s probably close to 6-4, 210, but I think he’s still growing. I don’t think he’s shaved yet. He still has a baby face. He has an older brother in college that is 6-7. He has very good mechanics and good arm strength. He’s worked on his mechanics a lot since he was young. He has very good pocket movement. He has a definite good upside.”
Raetz doesn’t think Etling will be quick to pull the trigger and commit to Purdue.
“It sounds like he’s going to wait,” Raetz said.
Etling is currently ranked as the state of Indiana’s No. 10 prospect overall.
• Others drawing interest – Some of the Wabash Valley’s other standout athletes are picking up offers and making commitments.
Two of the Mid-American Conference’s best programs have taken a liking to Terre Haute North juniors.
Patriot basketball standout Nicole Anderson made a verbal commitment recently to attend Bowling Green, which recently wrapped up the MAC women’s championship.
Northern Illinois, which won the MAC football title last fall and captured the Godaddy.com Bowl championship to conclude an 11-win season, has made an offer to Patriot tight end/defensive end Calvin Blank.
• Reed wins pitching debut – In his first career start, freshman southpaw A.J. Reed turned in a quality outing, allowing only one run in six innings to lead the Kentucky Wildcats to a 3-2 win over Morehead State on a gorgeous Tuesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (7-0) used the strong start from Reed (1-0) in his first collegiate starting assignment, as the 6-4, 235-pound lefty and first baseman tossed six innings, allowing four hits and one run, not issuing a walk and striking out two.
“In high school, I was a power pitcher and tried to strike everybody out,” Reed said on a video interview following the game on the UK baseball Web site. “Here I try to keep it down and get some ground balls. With this team, I know we’re going to hit the ball.”
Reed played in the first eight games as the Wildcats ran off a perfect 8-0 mark, hitting .261 with one homer and 11 RBI. His biggest game was against Buffalo, in which he had a home run and six RBI.
Reed has been the designated hitter when not pitching, normally batting fifth or sixth in the order.
“It’s not easy,” he said of his dual hitting/pitching responsibilities. “I just come to practice every day and work on hitting one day and pitching the next.”
• Burnham to WVC – Riverton Parke senior softball player Sarah Burnham has signed a letter of intent to play for the Wabash Valley College Warriors in Mt. Carmel, Ill.
Burnham, a pitcher and infielder for the Panthers, plans to study pre-law at WV, a two-year school.
“I am excited about playing at Wabash Valley,” Burnham says. “I think I am going to fit in well down there; I like the coaches and the facility, and it’s a nice hometown-kind of place for me to go. I think I am going to love it there.”
She also played a key role in the success of RP’s semi-state-contending basketball team this year.
Burnham will be the second Panther to recently attend Wabash Valley, as former RP standout Megan Vincent recently competed two years for WV.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at email@example.com.