Thane McDaniel Commits to play D1 Baseball at the University of Kansas


Morgan Deering

Junior Thane McDaniel has recently committed to play baseball at the University of Kansas.

Morgan Deering, Staff Writer

Most student-athletes at Junction City High School dream of continuing their athletic careers at a Division I college. For JCHS junior Thane McDaniel, this dream has become a reality.

McDaniel, who has been playing baseball since he was four, recently committed to play baseball at the University of Kansas. Currently, McDaniel plays baseball spring through fall and plays on both the high school baseball team and the Next Level baseball team in Topeka.

The recruitment process for McDaniel started after he played well in a tournament in Houston, Texas over the summer with the Next Level baseball team. Following this tournament, recruiters from KU began following McDaniel and his baseball career more closely, which led to his first visit to the KU campus on September 2nd, and eventually his commit on October 12th.

Thane McDaniel hopes to pitch 92-94 mph by the time he gets to KU.

Despite the fact that he committed to a college team earlier than most, McDaniel says that he will not be recommitting if other colleges begin to recruit him.  McDaniel has made a promise to attend the University of Kansas and he intends to keep it. Aside from the great offer he was given, McDaniel says he’s always admired KU, and committing to play for them makes him feel very accomplished.

On the topic of accomplishments, Thane says that now is not the time to be content, but rather the time to work harder than ever.  In his remaining high school seasons, McDaniel says he wants to be a key component on the team and become a better pitcher.

“I would like to be throwing 92-94 mph when I step on to KU’s campus,” McDaniel said.

At this time, McDaniel pitches between 84-87 mph and is coming close to his goal.

As the new baseball season approaches, McDaniel hopes the new coaching staff will bring a positive change to the baseball program at Junction City High School, and is optimistic that he and the team can make it to state in the years to come.

Junior Thane McDaniel plays for the Next Level baseball team as well as the JCHS baseball team.

Charlie Lynn, one of McDaniel’s previous coaches, says that McDaniel has high expectations of himself and that he does a great job of accepting criticism and using it productively on the field as well as in the classroom.

McDaniel says that during the spring, balancing school along with baseball can be hard, but it is manageable. “I try to go to my teachers beforehand so they know I will be gone and get my work,” said McDaniel.

During the summer, McDaniel and his family travel across the United States to his games and tournaments with the Next Level baseball team, a team that McDaniel says has helped him gain exposure to not only colleges but also new coaching styles and techniques that assisted him in his commitment to the University of Kansas.