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Baseball: South Elgin’s Ryan Nutof picks Michigan

Ryan Nutof

Ryan Nutof

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Updated: December 15, 2013 11:45AM

Ryan Nutof’s rapid rise to prominence among high school baseball pitchers brought interest and offers from dozens of college programs, but in the end his decision wasn’t all that difficult.

Nutof visited the University of Michigan last weekend and came home with a scholarship offer. The South Elgin senior didn’t need much time to weigh his options as he committed to the school Monday and signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA’s fall signing period.

“Going into Michigan I knew I was extremely interested, so I kind of put the other schools aside,” Nutof said. “It turned out that I loved it there and didn’t even worry about the other schools at that point.”

Nutof dominated on the mound for the Storm last spring during his first varsity season. Mixing in a fastball, changeup and curveball, he went 5-1 with a 0.76 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 37 innings, earning All-Upstate Valley honors in the process.

The breakout campaign led to even greater opportunities in the summer as Nutof was one of 27 players chosen to represent the Midwest at the Area Code Games in August in Long Beach, Calif.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound right hander continued to showcase his talents in the fall while playing with the Cincinnati Reds scout team and the Chicago Scouts Association, offering further chances to prepare for the challenges he will encounter as a Division I pitcher.

“I love facing the top competition because it makes me raise my game,” Nutof said.

Nutof will join a Michigan program moving in a new direction under the guidance of coach Erik Bakich.

The Wolverines went 29-27 and finished tied for fifth in the Big Ten in the spring in Bakich’s first year at the helm, ending a string of two straight losing seasons.

“I really like what coach Bakich is doing with the program,” Nutof said. “He’s big into nutrition and conditioning while at the same time polishing up your baseball skills. I like the whole regimen there.”

With the recruiting process complete, Nutof will turn his attention to preparing for the spring, when South Elgin will look to improve on its 18-15 finish last season.

“I enjoyed the process while it lasted,” Nutof said. “Now it is nice to be settled in and know what I’m doing.”

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