Chad Holbrook is a happy man these days.
He's about to be named the head baseball coach of a two-time national championship team and got good news Friday when several signees skipped signing MLB contracts and will enroll in school.
Max Schrock, Ryan Ripken and Kwinton Smith all decided not to sign contracts with the MLB teams that drafted them and will enroll at South Carolina in the fall.
Smith is a versatile athlete will plans to play both football and baseball at USC. On the baseball side, he's an outfielder with potential to be a reliever as well. Smith hit .438 wit four home runs with 13 RBI. He also was 3-0 on the mound with a 1.27 ERA and 35 strikeouts. He plans to tryout for the Gamecocks as a walk-on since he singed a football scholarship with the Gamecocks.
Ripken, the son of Baltimore Oriole great Cal Ripken Jr., hit .377 with 25 RBI as a left-handed first baseman his senior year of high school. He also pitched last season with a 4-1 record and a 2.30 ERA. He's considered a student of the game and was a leader for his high school team. He'll likely play a minor role as he develops but could be a good one in the future.
Schrock is another talented player who will likely step in at the second base position for the Gamecocks. He has a smaller frame but is said to have some sneaky pop in his bat. He makes good contact and plays the field well.
This is another step in the right direction for the Gamecocks as they are about to embark under new leadership at the helm of Chad Holbrook. These three players, along with many others, will be challenged to continue the winning ways of Carolina baseball.