by JASON GORDON
Hays High senior Granger Studdard has certainly made some headlines so far this school year.
Both a baseball and football star, was named Homecoming King, he caught a school-record five touchdown passes in a playoff win at Shelton Stadium Friday night, and last Wednesday he made sure family and friends will be able to continue to watch him play sports long into the future.
Studdard inked a national letter of intent to play baseball at Texas State University in San Marcos.
Studdard hit .525 in district action at Hays as a junior, walked 14 times and scored 18 runs for the Rebels and was named a First-Team All-District selection for the Rebs.
This summer, Studdard’s Austin Wings 17-and-under Texas Premier Baseball team beat out 46 other teams and won the Junior National Championship, going 9-0 in the tournament held in Joplin, Mo. Studdard hit .423 in the tourney with five home runs.
“Granger just has a ton of talent,” said Hays head baseball coach David Null. “He’s one of those guys that can get on a super hot streak and just carry your team for a long time. He always seems to come up big in the important situations, and you know you can plug him into several different positions in the field and he’s always going to do a great job for you. I’m glad we’ll have him at Hays for one more baseball season.”
Studdard said Texas State was a good fit. The Bobcats’ season this past spring under longtime head coach Ty Harrington was highlighted by their highest ranking in the program’s history (No. 20 nationally) and national exposure from a record-breaking scoreless-innings streak of 57 2/3 consecutive innings from late February to early March.
“I really respect the program and what Coach Harrington has accomplished with the team,” Studdard said. “I think I’ll get an opportunity to come in and compete for playing time right away and to help the team continue their winning tradition. Plus, it helps to be so close to home, where my family and friends can come see me play.”
Harrington’s early signing class included 10 other high school prospects.
“I am very excited about the future of Texas State baseball,” Harrington said. “Our goal at Texas State is to develop high- character young men, win championships and become a nationally ranked program every year. The foundation of this class is built on character, athleticism, versatility and competitiveness. Each of these traits is exactly what we look for and instill in our program, which helps bring a consistent winning attitude both on and off the field.”
Texas State assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jeremy Fikac said Studdard has a chance to be a key player for the Bobcats.
“Granger is the kind of hitter opposing teams will pay close attention to where he is in the lineup and when he is coming up to bat,” Fikac said. “He’s a strong, physical middle-of-the-order hitter. You have to pitch to him carefully or he will change the score.”