June 21, 1999
SEATTLE - The Washington baseball team has received National Letters of Intent from four incoming freshmen and a junior college transfer, Husky coach Ken Knutson announced today. The five spring signees join five incoming freshmen that signed last fall.
The seven new signees are Steve DeClerck (Medford, Ore./North Medford HS), Brian Johnson (Ephrata, Wash./Ephrata HS), Cam McCoy (Kelso, Wash./Kelso HS), Jermaine Smiley (Seattle, Wash./Bellevue CC), and Sean White (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island HS).
DeClerck is an infielder who batted .511 at North Medford this past season. Johnson, an all-state infielder, is the son of Ephrata coach Dave Johnson. As a senior, he helped lead Ephrata to the AA state title.
McCoy, an all-state selection, is a left-handed pitcher in the mold of former Husky star Jake Kringen, a big lefty with a hard fastball.
Smiley has played only one season at Bellevue CC after graduating from Kennedy High and will be a sophomore next season at the UW. Smiley was drafted by Kansas City in the 19th round of this month's amateur draft. White, a right-handed pitcher, was selected by Baltimore in the 41st round.
Last fall, the following six players signed early Letters of Intent: OF Tyler Davidson (Edmonds/Meadowdale HS), IF/OF Jay Garthwaite (Kent/Kent-Meridian HS), IF Tila Reynolds (Renton/Liberty HS), RHP Jason Stumm (Centralia/Centralia HS), C Mike Syvrud (Bothell/Bothell HS) and C Jefferson Thiel (Kirkland/Juanita HS). Both Stumm (1st round) and Garthwaite (12th round) were taken in the draft. Stumm has signed a professional contract with the White Sox and therefore will not be attending Washington this fall.
Knutson considers the class one of the best ever during his eight-year tenure as the UW coach, one that will compare favorably with the 1996 class that was ranked No. 8 in the nation, led the UW to two Pac-10 championships and nine professional players.
"A number of these players are going to play important roles right away," Knutson says. "Easily, four or five of these players could start. Fortunately, we've covered a wide range of talents with this group. There's good speed, good power, great defense and some excellent arms."
Washington will convene for fall practice in September and open the 2000 baseball season next January. Knutson thinks it's possible that as many as three or four more players might sign Letters of Intent prior to the startof the fall season.