Terre Haute native and Kentucky senior first baseman T.J. Collett will return for the 2021 season, taking advantage of the NCAA’s ruling on eligibility relief for spring sports student-athletes whose season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Four years ago, BBN [Big Blue Nation] welcomed me with open arms,” Collett said in a Kentucky press release. “During my time in Lexington, the University of Kentucky has given me every opportunity and resource to become the best version of myself, both on and off the field. Wearing the Blue and White has been an absolute honor and incredibly fun. That’s why I’ll be wearing it for one final ride.
“I can’t wait to give everything I have to my teammates, coaches and fans. I’m blessed Mr. Barnhart and Coach [Nick] Mingione are giving me the opportunity to go out on my own terms. See you in the fall, BBN!”
A first baseman, Collett has proven to be one of the nation’s premier power hitters during his career. He clubbed five home runs in just 69 at-bats this spring and now has 26 for his career, averaging one every 14.9 times he steps into the batter’s box. He recorded his 100th career hit this season and finished the 2020 season batting .290 with 10 extra-base hits, 17 RBI and a stout .931 OPS.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder is a two-time National and Southeastern Conference Player of the Week who has hit .269 with 44 extra-base hits, 97 RBI and a .519 slugging percentage in 118 career games.