Lawrence High's Kevin Hooper has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball for perennial power Wichita State.
Hooper, the Lions' second-leading hitter last season at .382, officially signed Thursday night. Hooper is a second baseman -- one of the best LHS coach Lynn Harrod has seen.
"He's possibly the best infielder to come out of this town," Harrod said. "His footwork is tremendous."
Wichita State provided the package Hooper was looking for in a program.
"The facilities are great and I liked the players and coaches," Hooper said. "And the campus isn't that big."
Hooper's size -- 5-foot-9, 140 pounds -- didn't turn off the Shockers.
"Everybody has always thought I was too small," Hooper said. "I think I worked my tail off, and I feel I've earned this."
Said Harrod of Hooper's size: "He's little, but he makes up for it with his work ethic and attitude."
Hooper said his signing early will enable him to concentrate on his senior season.
"That puts a lot of pressure on you if you wait until spring to sign," Hooper said. "I just wanted to enjoy my senior season."
Hooper doesn't plan to play much at Wichita State as a freshman.
"He (WSU coach Gene Stephenson) said he'd play the nine best players," Hooper said.
Other schools expressing interest in Hooper were Kansas, Texas Tech, North Carolina-Charlotte and Southwest Missouri State.
"It was kind of tough choice (between Wichita State and KU)," Hooper said. "I just wanted to get away from here, and Wichita isn't that far."