Four Top Recruits Sign With Nationally-Ranked Wildcats
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Four top recruits have signed their National Letter of Intent to join the nationally-ranked Kansas State men’s golf team for the 2004-05 season as announced by head coach Tim Norris Friday.
"With the large group of seniors leaving at the end of this year it was important to bring in a strong group, which we did," Norris said. "All of these players have succeeded at the national level and all have their best golf ahead of them."
Greg Blackwell, a senior from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami Fla., has signed on with the Wildcats. Blackwell, finished in a tie for third at the 2003 Class 2A Florida High School Golf Finals, en route to leading Columbus to a state championship. Blackwell was tabbed by the Miami Herald as the 2003 Dade County Player of the Year in Boys’ golf, as he was one of only eight players selected to the Miami Herald All-Dade County Boys’ Golf Team. This year, Blackwell has posted five top-10 finishes in Golfweek/Sagarin ranked events. Last December, he finished tied 8th at the 39th annual Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship.
"Greg's record shows he can compete nationally and not just on the grasses found in South Florida," Norris said. "He is extremely focused on his goals of playing golf professionally."
Tyler Cummins, a junior college transfer from Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kan., also inked with K-State in the early signing period. Cummins was a 2003 NJCAA First Team All-American in 2003, as he finished in fifth at Nationals. Cummins notched a victory at the College Players Tour National Tournament in Dallas, Texas. Last spring, he shot a 6-under-par 210 to win the NJCAA Regional. Cummins, who is originally from Buhler High School in Buhler, Kan., will join Jimmy Dietz (Overland Park) as the only Kansans on the K-State roster.
"It was important to recruit a seasoned winner and player like Tyler," Norris said. "Tyler will be playing the Junior College National Championship on their home course in Dodge City this spring."
Clay Hodge, a senior from Tyler, Texas, also signed the dotted line with K-State. Hodge has won 15 high school tournaments through his junior year, with his most notable victory coming at the 2003 Texas State Championship, where he carded a 69-69-70208. Hodge also finished in fourth out of 58 golfers at the prestigious Golfweek/Precept Junior Invitational, where he fired a 73-70-70213. In 2002, he had a nine-stroke victory at the Hollytree Men's Club Championship.
"He is a proven winner in the very competitive state of Texas," Norris said. “He is looking forward to taking his game to the next level with the facilities K-State has to offer."
Rounding out the stellar recruiting class is Kyle Yonke, a senior from Lubbock, Texas. Yonke was the champion of the 2003 Texas Junior Golf Tour event played at Bridlewood. He posted a fourth-place finish at the AJGA-Lockton Kansas City Junior, as he fired a 72-69-76217. The Texas native also finished 11th in a field of 115 of the nation's top players at the AJGA-OSSO Junior at Oak Tree, as he carded a 224.
"I see Kyle in a leadership role in his junior and senior years," Norris said. “Kyle is a feisty competitor who is just now coming into his own as a player.”
Norris is excited about the recruiting class and credits much of the success on the recruiting trail to the improvement of the team.
"The chance to play and practice at Colbert Hills everyday was an attraction, but I would say the most important factor in them choosing Kansas State has been the steady improvement of our team and players each year since the course opened in May of 2000," Norris said. "The chance to build on our golf tradition here is exciting to them."