2020 RHP/1B Ben Hernandez Commits to UIC

Congrats on your new commitment! What is it about University of Illinois-Chicago that excites you the most?

The first time I walked on campus I felt like I was home…. The campus is not huge, it is just the right size. You could walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. There is not a culture of partying like you hear about at other college campuses. It is a perfect place for someone who wants to succeed academically and athletically. They have everything that I will need to become a successful baseball player as well as a successful professional once I graduate.

This past season was your first with Top Tier. Tell us about your experience and how it was joining a new program as a freshman.

The program ROCKS!!! I loved my first year!! From the teammates to the coaches, everything was excellent. The exposure to scouts was beyond what I expected and the preparation for tournaments and games was better than any other program I am familiar with. I appreciate all those who contributed to my success by helping me become the best baseball player and person I can become.

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

I guess my situation is a little different in the respect that I verbally committed before I could actually sign, so I was not in the recruiting process all that long. Several Big 12 colleges made contact with me during the Summer ball season but none came across as serious as UIC. I had the opportunity to see other colleges during my summer season so I did have something to compare UIC with. Because of UIC’s location and excellent baseball program, I could not say no to their program.

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

My priorities are God, family and being a student-athlete. I have a special needs brother and my father’s health is fragile. I wanted to be close to my family especially my mom and sister if they needed me. UIC gave me the opportunity to be as “far” away as I want but close enough to reach those I love if they needed me. Plus, UIC has a great baseball program and my family can come and see me play in some of my games. My brother is my biggest fan!!

What challenges do you see ahead of you before you get to campus?

My biggest challenge will be not getting too far ahead of myself. I need to stay focused where I am at and keep developing my baseball skills and making good grades.

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

To become recognized as one of the nation’s best college pitchers and hitters. To remain consistent in my performance every chance I get!! And of course, get recognized by some Major League Baseball team along the way.

Is there anybody you would like to give a shout-out or thanks to?

There have been so many people who I would have to thank. My family has always given me the support I need by buying equipment, spending time taking me to practices and private lessons and to all my coaches who recognized my talent and patiently helped me to develop into the player I am today. To all my teachers, who encouraged me to face the academic challenges it takes to be the best student I could be.

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