Behind the Scenes: Shane Dressler Discusses his Decision to Leave Pennsylvania

Of the top 10 ranked players in Pennsylvania's Class of 2013, nine have either signed with or committed to Division I programs outside the state. North Carolina, Louisville, Notre Dame, VCU, Virginia, Radford, Coastal Carolina and Binghamton have managed to lure the top players in the state outside its borders to play college baseball. The lone player ranked in the top 10 who will stay in state is Pitt commit Brett Hileman.

                       NLI Dressler

Shane Dressler, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound 1B from Red Land HS is the No. 4 ranked player in the Class of 2013. He chose to leave Pennsylvania to become a VCU Ram. According to Dressler, "I chose VCU for several reasons.  First of all, they really threw out the red carpet when I went to visit.  The coaching staff spent so much time trying to recruit me, it was flattering.  Additionally, I really hit it off with their hitting coach, Jeff Palumbo.  He talks hitting in a way that we both understand and he has a reputation for getting guys to the next level.  I knew all along I wanted to go south because of the number of months that I'll be able to play the game outdoors. Richmond is close enough that my parents can still come and visit pretty often.  I liked the campus and my summer coaches at Elite Baseball of Lancaster had a good relationship with VCU's coaching staff."

While it not uncommon for juniors and sophomores to commit early in their high school careers in a number of states in the PBR coverage area, it does not happen that frequently in Pennsylvania. Currently, only two Pennsylvania players in the Class of 2014 have announced their commitments, and both will be leaving the state. OF Zach Jancarski, ranked No. 2 in this year's junior class, has committed to Maryland. RHP Colton Hock, ranked No. 4 in the same class, has committed to Stanford.

Dressler is one of those exceptions, actually committing to VCU prior to the start of his junior year of high school. "I actually verbally committed back in the summer of 2011.  That's pretty early, but VCU had seen me play throughout the summer travel season and they made a really good offer while I was still a "rising junior".  I was also considering Virginia Tech, Saint Johns, Louisville, Boston College, Maryland, The Citadel and Furman".

Dressler is not alone among Pennsylvania players opting to play at VCU. SS Matt Davis, RHP Ian Stiffler and RHP Brian Goodling, ranked No. 21, No. 23 and No. 110 in the Class of 2013 respectively, have also committed to play for the Rams. The addition of the four talented Pennsylvania seniors will give VCU a total of eight Pennsylvania players on its roster in 2013-2014.