Q&A with Kent State Commit Nick Elsen

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

2017 OF Nick Elsen of Indian Trail recently committed to Kent State. Elsen will become the fourth member of the Madison based GRB Rays to continue the pipeline to Kent State, joining class of 2015 standouts Pete Schuler and Connor Wollersheim along with 2016 OF Ben Carew. One of the hottest bats in the Wisconsin 2017 Class, Elsen was a threat in the Indian Trail lineup as a sophomore. His hot bat carried over to the summer earning him a spot on the Wisconsin PBR Future Games team. Here is a report on him from the event.

Nicholas Elsen7/31/15 - Elsen came into the Future Games swinging a hot bat from the high school and summer season, and he stayed hot in Indy. The 6-foot-1, 168-pound, right-handed hitting outfielder has wiry strength that translates at the plate. Shows strength thru contact with 92 mph exit velocity from a tee. Offensively hits from a tall, balanced setup. Short, leg lift stride. Pull hitter with deceptive power at the plate. Despite only going 1-7 at the plate in games, showed great feel for the barrel with multiple hard hit outs. Defensively has a long arm action from a high ¾ arm slot. Plays thru the ball with fluid footwork. Long release with accurate throws, threw 85 mph from the outfield. Solid runner running the 60 at 7.07.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Elsen: Going into the recruiting process I wasn't to sure what to expect about it because I was new to the whole idea of things. I was expecting it to get hard at times and maybe frustrating but for me everything went pretty smooth. I was never overwhelmed with anything during the process and I was never really pushed one way or another by any coaches which was very nice. So during the recruiting process it was some what difficult but most of all it was very rewarding.

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Elsen: Going forward with my recruiting process there was some key factors that I was looking for in a program. One was that I needed to feel like I was at home while on the campus and around the coaches. I really wanted that nice and friendly environment and that is what I saw while touring Kent State which really pushed my decision. I also wanted to come to a school that had a tradition of winning and having that mindset that they could win at anytime on any given day. I also wanted a program that was going to not just push me to become a better baseball player but also a better person.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Elsen: You could say location had some type of role on my decision on choosing a school. Through this whole process my parents where my biggest supporters in everything I did. While growing up they would come to all my sporting events when ever they could. For them to be able to come watch me play at the next level would be nothing but special for them.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Elsen: The recruiting process really heated up for me this summer while playing for the GRB Rays. I started playing at the U16 level then for the last 2 or 3 tournaments I happened to get moved up to the U17 Showcase team which really heated up my process. My biggest spark for the recruiting process happened at the PBR Future Games playing for Team Wisconsin. It was great playing in front of many schools and playing against the best kids at my age level. It was a great eye opener.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Elsen: Kent State for saw me at a tournament in Ohio this summer while playing for the Rays. They ended up following and talking to me all the way though fall ball. I ended up making a very good relationship with the assistant coach, Coach Marconi. Then on my school tour I had the privilege to meet most of the coaching staff including the head coach, Coach Duncan. The whole coaching staff was great and I cant wait to further my relationships with them. 

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Elsen: As I said before I wanted to go to school where there was a winning tradition. Kent State has a very good winning tradition and hopefully we can keep that going in the same direction. I also wanted to go to a program that everyone had one goal in common and that was to get to Omaha.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Elsen: Uconn, Western Kentucky, UNC, Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Elsen: The best player I faced in the state would have to be Nate Brown. His mentality on the mound is great and you can never second guess yourself while he is pitching. He is just a all around great player.

PBR: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

Elsen: This summer was the best summer i've ever had playing baseball. This summer was a great experience to see what I could really do. It was also a great eye opener to see all the great talent in the nation. This summer made me grow not just as a baseball player but as a person to. So I would have to say this summer is really when I thought that I have a chance at playing at the next level. Also playing with the Rays and playing against the best competition in the nation it really pushes you to see what you can accomplish.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Elsen: The only advice I can give to young baseball players is to follow your dreams and don't let anyone tell you that you are not good enough to do something. There will be many people in your life that doubt you but you just have to prove those people wrong and really strive to be your best.  If you want something bad enough you cannot just sit on the couch and pray that it will just happen. You have to put in a lot of work and time to reach your goals. Progress just doesn't happen over night it takes some time.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Elsen: As of right now my most memorable moment is committing to Kent State. As a whole it’s being able to play the game I love and being with people that you love and having those people push you to be the best you can be. My most memorable high school moment was hitting a 3 run home run against Wilmot in the Sectional Championship.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Elsen: I think as a whole next year we will have a very solid and experienced team. We were stopped short of our main goal last year by Kimberly in the first round of state. I think that also gives us a little more of a spark to get back there next year and have a different outcome. We accomplished a lot last year as a team by only being our 4th year as a varsity sport which is crazy to think about. I know that everyone is ready to see what we can accomplish and hopefully we can bring home a State Title. Lastly I think we earned a lot of peoples respect for being such a young baseball program.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Elsen: For the summer I play for the GRB Rays based out of Madison. That was my best decision in going to play for them. They have so much to offer to a young baseball player trying to improve their skills and abilities. Its also a great atmosphere when your around all the coaches and players. We can all joke around but when its time to get serious we can all flip that switch and get ready to play. My most memorable experience with them would just have to be traveling in the team van and staying in the hotel rooms with the guys and just having a great time.

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