2019 RHP Michael Gurka Commits to Minnesota

Congrats on your new commitment! What is it about the University of Minnesota that excites you the most?
Thank you!!! The university of Minnesota I knew was a perfect fit for me once I stepped on campus. The coaches were very welcoming and had the personality that I loved and felt almost like family. If you look at the Big Ten standings every year you can find the Gophers at the top year after year, and of course is one of the best programs in the nation. The coaching staff has been in Minneapolis for more than 30 years, so the experience was huge. Most of all the education you can receive at Minnesota is one of the best in the Big Ten (specifically Sports Management...one of the best programs in the country). Finally, I knew once leaving campus that I wanted to be in Minneapolis and be a Gopher. 

You have been with Top Tier since you were 12. Tell us about your experience and what it means to wear the TT?
Top Tier has been my stepping stone to playing elite baseball. The TT family is one like no other and is a place I can call home. When I first started at Top Tier I started on the bottom team, and with the dedication and hard work taught at Top Tier I never stopped working and now here I am. Year after year I have put my talent to the test with my brothers and we never fall short of excellence which is Top Tiers motto, “Expect Greatness”. Top Tier has taught me how to play the game the right way while still having the time of my life balling on the field.

Talk a little bit about the recruiting process and how everything went down.

There isn’t a certain way the recruiting process is supposed to go...everybody's will be different. I have had time to travel the country and visit many different schools and the knowledge I possessed from every coach was crucial to my success. My recruiting process started early this summer however picked up heavily after the Futures Games, a great PBR event. I embraced this process and was very patient looking for the school I fit perfectly with. My parents taught me to be patient and to have an open mind and that is just what I did. All in all, I trusted the process and now I can't wait to play for the University of Minnesota.

What were some of the priorities you looked at when deciding where you wanted to commit?

Actually, my priorities changed during the recruiting process. At first I thought that I wanted to go play anywhere in he country and that distance didn’t mean a thing. However, I sat down and really focused on what I wanted for the next four years of my life. I accumulated it down to to wanting a culture that breeds success and that could produce a high quality baseball player and Man. Secondly, I wanted a place that had very good team/moral values within their program. Education was also a big part in how I wanted a University that has a track record of high success in the class room, a degree from the U of M is valuable. Minnesota checked all the boxes.

What challenges do you see ahead of you before you get to campus?
Some challenges that I have in high school is that I want to win 2 state titles. At Joliet Catholic we have goals that we want to be the best and this is a challenge we have to get after everyday. Our JCA roster is filled with D1 players and have some of the highest expectations in state and the nation. Another goal before I step foot on campus is that when I get to school I want to be the guy who is throwing under the lights on Friday Night. A key word in Joliet Catholic’s and Minnesota’s vocabulary is Tradition and I am only trying to carry the torch from those before me. I know that I have to work harder then I ever have before to obtain these goals.

What are some of the goals you have set for yourself as a college baseball player?

I want to be the guy on the roster that everybody trusts with the ball under the lights on Friday Nights. As a team In college I want to first win the Big Ten and then make it to Omaha. These are very high goals that I know start now and the work I put in every day.

Is there anybody you would like to give a shout-out or thanks to?
God, for giving me this talent that I am blessed for. Next, my Parents for sacrificing their time and Money to give me the best baseball experience I could’ve asked for. They are my rocks and I can count on them with anything. All the Coaches at Top Tier and the whole TT family. Griffin Phelps, Matt Plante, Todd Fine, Jorge Garza, Kyle Colletta, Louis Gill, Seth Kenny, Mike Carrane..thank you for giving me a Home for these past 5 years and for teaching me how to play the game the right way. They have taught me life lessons that I will take with me forever. Ryan Quigley, for being my role model as a baseball player and a Man. He has taught me that success is only obtained through hard work and for teaching me how to pitch from when I was young. Finally all those who have taught me in anyway through my life...I will be grateful for everything.
Go Gophers!!!
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