Recently-graduated Xaverian pitcher Austin DeCarr has verbally committed to Clemson University for the fall of 2014, he announced tonight.
DeCarr, a Foxborough resident, committed to the Tigers on a visit to campus Monday afternoon. He made the commitment public tonight in a post on his Twitter account.
"Me and my dad drove to Clemson Monday morning, they brought us around campus and it was incredible," said DeCarr, who is currently down in Alpharetta, Ga., for a showcase event.
DeCarr is committed to the Tigers as a member of the 2014 recruiting class. He will do a post-graduate season next year at prep powerhouse Salisbury School, in Salisbury, Conn.
While one of the most talked about Class of 2013 prospects in Massachusetts the last several years, after showing promise with a low-90's fastball as a sophomore, DeCarr has been snakebitten the last two high school seasons. He missed most of the 2012 season with shoulder problems, but made his debut late in the regular season and anchored the bullpen as the Hawks won their first MIAA Division 1 State Championship since 2004. He came into this past spring as a Perfect Game Preseason All-American, but made just seven starts and shut it down for three weeks of the season, as the Hawks made a first-round exit in the Division 1 South tournament.
But over the last month -- thanks in part to some work with Eric Cressey and Matt Blake at the Hudson-based Cressey Performance, along with former Red Sox trainers Mike Reinold and B.J. Baker -- that promising potential from early in his high school career appears to have surfaced.
At the regional Area Code Games tryout at Bentley University, DeCarr says he threw in the 90-92 range, touching 93, while also demonstrating a quality curve. That has been a similar narrative through several other showcases, including the Perfect Game National Showcase last month at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
"It feels great, obviously with the injuries over the last year, with a lot of setbacks and stuff like that, it's definitely a great feeling," DeCarr said of his commitment. "Clemson was the better fit between the offer they gave me, the coaching staff down there, and the passion down there is crazy."
DeCarr visited North Carolina, Louisiana State and Vanderbilt before the start of his junior season, and he has held varying degrees of interest from Louisville, Tulane, Ole Miss, Florida and a number of ACC, Big East and Big Ten schools over the years.
Clemson has maintained a presence recruiting the New England states over the years -- long-time head coach Jack Leggett is a South Burlington, Vt., native and UMaine graduate -- and has been one of DeCarr's top choices for some time.
"They wanted me to come this fall, but I'm going to shut it down a little bit -- I've been going from football right into baseball for the last four years, I need some down time," DeCarr said. "They think I'm polished. I'm much better than I was during high school season. I've got more consistent mechanics, driving the ball down by my knees. They think my velocity is good enough as it is. Hopefully, I'm sitting at the 94-95 range [next year]. My curve is probably my best pitch at this point."