LINCOLN – CJ Hood will be playing college baseball at Nebraska.
The three-sport standout from Norris knew he had athletic ability — a 34-inch vertical and naturally strong arm. He knew plenty about the Huskers, too, since his brother, Byron, was a pitcher in the program from 2015-19.
What the younger Hood has learned in recent months is how high his ceiling could be. The pandemic-related shutdowns in mid-March allowed him to work with Tom Oldham — a former Creighton player and minor leaguer — at his performance center in Omaha. Oldham has Fremont ties, as he played in the Fremont American Legion baseball program, before transferring to Omaha Westside. With extended time away from competitive sports for the first time in years, the 6-foot-4 senior-to-be gained 15 pounds, reaching 195 through better eating and weightlifting.
With that came a velocity increase of about 6 mph on his pitches. The right-hander touched 94 mph recently, he said, but sitting 90 or 91 with his fastball as a prep junior drew the interest of Nebraska coaches.
He publicly committed Monday, becoming the 11th known member of the Huskers’ 2021 class.