Southside's Love commits to Alabama
Thu. December 12, 2013 at 9:32 p.m. | By J.J. Hicks Staff Writer
Southside's Brock Love throws to first base during a game against Etowah on March 29. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times)
Southside’s Brock Love, considered one of the top junior high school baseball prospects in the country, committed to the University of Alabama on Thursday.
Love was recruited as a pitcher, though he also plays several infield positions for the Panthers.
Last season, Love helped Southside reach the Class 5A state quarterfinals before falling to Pinson Valley.
For Love, the deciding factor in his choice was comfort.
“I think it was the right choice because I really like the coaching staff and I felt really comfortable going to Alabama,” Love said. “It’s close to home and felt like the right choice for me.”
He said that his final four schools were the Tide, Auburn, LSU and Vanderbilt.
“I really liked all of the schools,” Love said. “It was a tough choice. I really don’t think I could have gone wrong with any of those colleges. They’re all great places, have great coaches and great programs.”
Love, a right-hander, was clocked throwing as fast as 92 miles per hour in the summer, according to Southside coach Blake Bone,
The Panthers’ coach was happy for his star player.
“Brock has put himself in a situation the past few years to be recruited and he has worked hard and done the things it takes to play at that level and sign with pretty much anybody he wanted to,” Bone said. “I think he made a great choice and he will do very well there. We’re just glad we get him for two more years.”
Love has pitched 50 innings in his career with a 9-3 record and 2.12 ERA. He also has four saves.
As far as the recruiting process, Love said that he relished the chance to be courted by so many programs.
“It was fun for me,” Love said. “It was a great experience. Not many people get to actually do that. It was really special for me.”
Bone believes that the Crimson Tide is getting a quality player and person.
“As he puts weight on and continues to develop, I really think he could be that mid-90s (mph) guy because his delivery is very effortless, very loose and easy. Alabama is getting a big-time power pitcher. I think he can pitch for them right away.
“As far as character, there are no issues there. He’s a great kid and comes from a great family.
Love also feels he is capable of contributing immediately on the Capstone.
“It felt like a good fit for me,” Love said. “I can come in and make an impact on the program.”