Darryl Monroe announced today that he would sign a national baseball letter of intent with Kansas, giving coach Dave Bingham a steal of a deal.
Monroe, the Lions' starting catcher who happens to carry a 3.78 grade point average, will attend KU on a Howard Hughes biology scholarship.
"That's what my major will be," Monroe said. "I might use it to go pre-med."
He'll have some studying to do on the baseball field, too, as he moves to the outfield.
"I like the outfield a lot," he said. "This summer I'll play out there more than I have been. Sometimes catching every game, you can get burned out. It's a lot more demanding."
He's not without experience in the field.
"That was all I played last summer because I broke my finger in the sixth or seventh game and that was the only place I could play," he said.
AND MONROE figures he'll be playing for a coach who can fill in the gaps.
"There's a lot I don't know, and he knows a lot about the game," he said. "I'll be able to learn a lot."
Bingham, he said, was largely responsible for his decision to pick Kansas over Notre Dame.
"He's come to practice, and we'd go over there to see him," Monroe said, referring to himself and fellow Lion Andy Peck. "He's always concerned about us and how we're doing in school. Money wasn't the main factor.
"He told me they work really hard during the spring and fall. The other day he told me it would take a lot of work for me to play as a sophomore, but during my sophomore year I'd get a lot of playing time."
After growing up in Lawrence and seeing a brother and sister attend KU, Monroe said it seemed the natural choice. Baseball, though, hadn't always been in his plans.
"I HADN'T really thought about that," he said. "When I was younger I wouldn't have predicted I could be a Div. I-caliber player."
Now Monroe's speed and hitting ability the same attributes that attracted Bingham may earn him a slot in June's free agent draft.
"If I get drafted I have a lot of time to think about it," he said. "I'll have a lot of options. I'll just take it as it comes. Right now I'm just getting ready to go to school."